Foreign Policy Blogs

A Sketch of Opinions of Journalists in Pakistan

The Obama administration has long sought to change the Muslim world’s opinions on American foreign policy in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  From President Obama’s much hailed speech and somewhat prescient speech on democracy in the Middle East that he offered at the University of Cairo, to his under-appreciated attempts to correctly pronunciation the name of Muslim countries–Pakistan, on top of that list– he has moved to change the view that America was an interventionist imperialist. He has sought to push the opinions of the agenda setters in Muslim countries to something of a view that underscored America’s role as a partner of sorts in a range of experiments on social and economic development.

Early on, many thought that President Obama himself embodied that change; but now, not so!  It seems try as it might, the rather negative opinion of and on U.S politics and strategic interests in Pakistan remains distressingly low.

To get a feel for what those opinions may be Lawrence Pintak a scholar at Washington State University conducted a nationwide survey of nearly 400 journalists in Pakistan and reported the results of the study in the Times

The study found that a majority of journalists think that President Obama is sincerely signalling his desire to leave the region by 2014.  Moreover, the survey found that journalists are interested in developing a feasible education policy and in curbing domestic terrorism.  Nevertheless, there is a widely held opinion, that U.S and ISAF acts are little differen than acts of terrorism conducted by the Taliban.  This bit of news could well shape the narrative that Pakistani citizen-leaders read on a daily basis, if the U.S policy on Pakistan carries on per usual.

I invite you, my reader, to examine the chart that somewhat neatly outlines the results of the survey.  Please find that document here.



Faheem Haider

Faheem Haider is a political analyst, writer and artist. He holds advanced research degrees in political economy, political theory and the political economy of development from the London School of Economics and Political Science and New York University. He also studied political psychology at Columbia University. During long stints away from his beloved Washington Square Park, he studied peace and conflict resolution and French history and European politics at the American University in Washington DC and the University of Paris, respectively.

Faheem has research expertise in democratic theory and the political economy of democracy in South Asia. In whatever time he has to spare, Faheem paints, writes, and edits his own blog on the photographic image and its relationship to the political narrative of fascist, liberal and progressivist art.

That work and associated writing can be found at the following link:

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