45 percent Pakistanis think US military presence poses a threat to Pak

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Washington, Oct 4 : Almost half of the Pakistanis, or 45 percent, think that the US military presence across the border in Afghanistan poses a threat to Pakistan.

Only 17 percent said it was not a threat and more than a third, 38 percent of respondents, had no opinion or would not answer, according to a Gallup poll organized in June.

The poll found that one in three of the respondents said the US relationship with Pakistan in President George W. Bush's campaign against terror mostly benefits America. Only 7 percent -- fewer than one in 10 -- said Pakistan benefits more.

More than that, 10 percent said both sides get nothing from the partnership, Dawn reported. The findings were based on face-to-face interviews, in the first half of this year in Pakistan, with approximately 802 people.

Pakistanis are leery of their government's anti-terror cooperation with the US even before President George W. Bush authorized American military action inside Pakistan without their government's approval, the poll said. Bush's July approval of US incursions across the Afghan-Pakistani border came to light after reports appeared about American operations, mainly comprising drone missile strikes at suspected Taliban or al-Qaida sites on Pakistani territory. US and Pakistani forces exchanged gunfire last Saturday for the first time. At least 12 Pakistanis were killed on Friday in two suspected US missile strikes against villages near the border with Afghanistan.

Pakistani intelligence officials said most of the dead were militants.

ANI

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