Survey shows over 80 percent of Afghans have ‘No sympathy’ for Taliban

Afghans continue to lose sympathy for the armed opposition groups, 82 percent indicating that they have “no sympathy” for the Taliban, according to a new survey released by The Asia Foundation on Tuesday.

The foundation’s survey – which is based on face-to-face interviews with 15,012 people from all major and most minor ethnic groups in 34 provinces – shows that 79 percent of Afghans in northwest identify the Taliban as the biggest threat to local security while in east 57 percent see Daesh/ISIS as the biggest threat to local security.

The survey which was conducted in July 2018, indicates the optimism about country’s direction has remained unchanged (33%) despite the nation’s challenges to maintain security against the Taliban insurgency and the growing presence of ISIS/Daesh while 61 percent more said the country is moving towards the wrong direction.

According to the survey, insecurity is the most frequently cited reason for pessimism, followed by unemployment, bad economy and high prices.

In addition, the survey shows that fear while voting has increased significantly, from 52% last year to 62% in 2018. Over half of the survey respondents (52%) said they believe that the next election would be free and fair.

“This year’s Survey reveals a mix of hope and fear as Afghans look towards their future,” said Abdullah Ahmadzai, The Asia Foundation’s country representative in Afghanistan.

“While the long delay in parliamentary elections, ongoing violence, and economic and employment challenges continue to color citizens’ views, the empirical evidence in 2018 reveals an incremental rise in Afghans’ confidence in democracy, elections, government institutions, and services. Clearly, even in the face of often seemingly imperceptible progress, Afghans are eager for a better future,” he added.

This comes as the Taliban did not comment regarding the survey so far.

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