Pakistani youth ‘prefer Sharia to democracy’
Pakistani youth would prefer Islamic law or military rule over democracy, a British Council survey suggests.
More than half of 5,000 18-29 year-old Pakistanis polled said democracy had not been good for them or the country.
Furthermore, 94% said Pakistan was going in the wrong direction – a figure up from 50% in 2007.
Almost a third of registered voters in Pakistan are under 30 years old, and are expected to play a big part in a general election due in May.
When asked to pick the best political system, both Sharia and military rule were favoured over democracy.
The survey points towards a pessimistic generation, disenchanted with democracy after five years of civilian rule, says the BBC’s Orla Guerin in Islamabad.
Most of those surveyed had more faith in the army than any other institution.
Approval ratings for the military were about 70% compared with just 13% for the government.
A quarter of respondents said they had been directly affected by violence, or had witnessed a serious violent event.
That figure rose to more than 60% in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.
The greatest concern for most was rising prices, not terrorism: Almost 70% said they were worse off now than five years ago.
While many young people are registered to vote, less than half of those surveyed said they were certain they would do so.