Support for Osama, Taliban plummeted heavily, PPP most popular party: US based organisation

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Islamabad, Feb 11 : The public support for al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and the Taliban has plummeted heavily, while the Pakistan People's Party is being seen as the most popular political entity of the country, a survey by a US-based organisation has claimed.

According to Terror Free Tomorrow, a majority of Pakistanis wants President Pervez Musharraf to quit. At least 70 per cent of the respondents said it washigh time that he quit.

Pakistanis are now looking to peaceful opposition groups, the survey conducted in January this year said.

Only 24 per cent of Pakistanis participating in the survey said they were in favour of Osama bin Laden. In August last year, a similar sort of survey registered 46 percent support for the Al Qaeda chief.

Support for the Taliban has also dropped by half to 19 per cent from 38 per cent.

The survey further said that only one per cent of Pakistani voters would cast their ballots in favour of al Qaeda if it was running in the February 18 parliamentary elections, and the Taliban would get three per cent.

The PPP emerged the most popular political party with 36.7 per cent of the people favouring it over the Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-N (25.3 per cent), and the pro-Musharraf PML-Q (12 percent).

Fifty-eight per cent of the respondents suspected that Musharraf, allied politicians or government agencies were responsible for Benazir Bhutto's assassination on December 27 last year. Only seven per cent thought that al Qaeda or the Taliban were behind her slaying

The survey, based on interviews with 1,157 people across the country from January 19 to 29, had a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points, the Dawn reported.

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