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50% Indians downvote Modi’s Pakistan policies: Survey

NEW DELHI: As many as fifty percent of Indians disapproved their prime minister Narendara Modi’s recent hostile policies against the neighbor country Pakistan, a survey report reveals.

The Pew survey, conducted through face-to-face interviews with about 2,464 people in the Union Territory of Delhi and in 15 of the 17 most populous states, shows that half of the respondents did not agree with Modi’s sentiments regarding Pakistan.

The research focuses on answering three main questions ? How India is doing, how Modi is performing, and how Indians see their place in the world.

The survey aims to shed light on what Indians think about their country, their government and potential for the future. Although 73pc of respondents appear to have “uniformly negative” view of Pakistan, around 55pc of Indians polled go a step further with a ‘very unfavourable’ opinion towards Pakistan.

The Pew survey says negative Indian sentiment towards Pakistan has risen 9 points since 2015. The second ‘least popular’ country appears to be China, with 36pc of respondents holding an ‘unfavourable’ opinion of the People’s Republic.

About half of Indians surveyed take a disapproving stance on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Pakistan policies. 22pc of respondents, however, approve of his handling of Pak-India ties.

More than 60pc of respondents think India should continue increasing defence expenditure, 20pc want to keep it at current levels, whereas just 6pc believe it should be decreased.

“Notably, Indians who see China’s growing military power as a very serious problem are more likely than those who see China’s growing military power as a less serious threat to favour increased military spending,” the Pew report said.

Around 62pc of respondents believe that ‘overwhelming military force’ is the best way to defeat terrorism, whereas only 21pc feel that relying on force creates hatred and more terrorism.

About 31pc of those surveyed had a favourable opinion of India’s emerging Asian rival, compared to 36pc who had an unfavourable opinion. Positive views towards China have dropped 10 percentage points compared to the previous year.

This article originally appeared in Daily Times.