People-to-people contacts, cultural exchanges and track II diplomacy have often been held as beacons in the night that bedevil India-Pakistan ties. If the Pew Research Center is to be believed, there is trouble on that front, too.
In a survey on public opinion about terrorism, released on Thursday, Pew found that while Pakistanis were worried about Al Qaeda and Taliban, they were much less concerned about the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). While 65% of the respondents had a negative view of the Taliban, only 35% looked at LeT that way. Worse, 25% viewed LeT favourably, while only 15% thought so about the Taliban. Is there a link between such opinion and the reluctance to tackle LeT? Had Pakistan been a well-run democracy and not an army-manoeuvred one, the link would have been crystal clear. But this is hardly an academic issue. The correlation is tight enough to show where matters are headed.