WEB DESK: The current democratic system in Pakistan has received 66% percent support of the masses, revealed a survey conducted by the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (Pildat) on the completion of the second year of the current parliament and provincial assemblies.
The survey reveals that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif emerged as the most popular political leader with an approval rating of 75%, followed by Shahbaz Sharif, the Chief Minister of the Punjab at an approval rating of 72%, Imran Khan, Chairman PTI with an approval of 49% and Asif Zardari, Co-Chairman of the PPP earned a weak approval rating of 27%. Other national political leaders had relatively lower ratings. Altaf Hussain emerged as the least popular leader in Pakistan with an approval rating of 13%. Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain also earned substantially lower ratings at 19 %, followed by Asfandyar Wali of ANP at 18%.
According to the survey, MQM emerged as the most negatively rated political party in the country with an approval rating of 14%. Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri’s Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) received a relatively low rating at 19%, the Awami National Party (ANP) was favourably voted for by 21% and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) had only slightly higher approval ratings at 23%.
These public views are part of a nation-wide public opinion poll by PILDAT on assessing citizens’ views on quality of democracy in Pakistan at the end of second year of the current federal and provincial legislatures elected after general election 2013. An overwhelmingly 80% of the respondents supported the holding of local government elections nationwide, saying that local elections are somewhat very important, while only 11% of the respondents believe that these elections are not very important or not important at all.
The survey noted that the public opinion in favour of holding local government elections has seen a significant increase, as by the end of the 1st year of the federal and provincial governments in May 2014, this number stood at 71%, whereas 27% of the respondents believed that holding these elections is not very important or important at all.
On the other hand, 72% of respondents believe that elected local governments are somewhat to very important in solving the problems faced by Pakistani citizens, whereas by the end of the 1st year, only 65% of the respondents believed this to be the case. Only 19% asserted that elected local governments are not important in resolving the problems faced by citizens by the end of the 2nd year.
On 11 core indicators measuring quality of democracy in Pakistan, 6 show positive approval rating while 5 are rated negatively. Respondents have given above 50% approval rating to an Independence of Media (64%), Effectiveness of Supreme Court (56%), Trust in Favourite Political Party (56%), Performance of Independent Cabinet (52%), and Democratic Oversight of Security Sector (51%).
Over 59% of the respondents believe that the general election in 2013 was somewhat to completely transparent and fair. On the contrast 30% respondents see the election as somewhat to completely rigged. For the democracy survey conducted at the end of the 1st year of the elected governments, 53% of the respondents believed that general election 2013 was completely to somewhat transparent and fair and 37% thought they were somewhat to completely rigged.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had the highest approval amongst the population, with 70% of the respondents rating the party’s competence highly. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) followed at an Approval Rating of 44% The Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and the Pakistan Peoples Party were approved of by 40% and 36% of the respondents, respectively.
By Abdul Rasheed Azad
Source: Business Recorder