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Last Updated: Monday, 3 December 2007, 14:35 GMT
Afghans 'still hopeful on future'
Woman being interviewed
Interviewers spoke to 1,377 people across Afghanistan
Most Afghans are relatively hopeful about their future, an opinion poll commissioned by the BBC has suggested.

They also support the current Afghan government and the presence of overseas troops, and oppose the Taleban.

But the poll suggests that Afghans are slightly less optimistic than a year ago, and are frustrated at the slow pace of reconstruction efforts.

Charney Research spoke to 1,377 people in October and November in all 34 provinces for the BBC, ABC and ARD.

READ THE FINDINGS

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This is the third such survey, and is published to coincide with the sixth anniversary of the fall of the Taleban.

Overall, the figures indicate that the peaceful north of Afghanistan is significantly more satisfied than the troubled south. Most dissatisfaction is found in the south-west, where the Taleban are most active.

The poll suggests that despite another year of conflict, confidence and hope have been dented only a little in the past 12 months.

MAIN EVERYDAY COMPLAINTS
Jobs - 73%
Clean water - 46%
Electricity - 84%
Food - 33%
Schools - 29%

The figures indicate that 54% of Afghans think things are going in the right direction, one percentage point fewer than last year, while 70% described their living conditions as good or very good.

Karzai warning

Security issues and the Taleban were the biggest problems facing Afghanistan, according to 56% of the people interviewed (against 57% last year).

graph

One of the most striking findings was the apparent unpopularity of the Taleban and their foreign supporters.

Only 5% of respondents said they supported or strongly supported the Taleban (against 4% last year), with 14% of respondents saying they supported or strongly supported jihadi fighters from other countries.

Only 4% would like to see the Taleban return to government.

Against this, 71% of respondents said they supported or strongly supported the presence of US military forces in Afghanistan, with 67% supporting or strongly supporting Nato and its Isaf peacekeeping mission.

graphic

Support for both of these has fallen in the past year, however, even though most respondents blamed the Taleban and their allies for most of the violence.

There is relatively good news for President Hamid Karzai and his government - though it is coupled with a warning.

Both are rated as good or excellent by more than half the people interviewed.

But their popularity is continuing to fall.

There is clear, and in some cases increasing, unhappiness with the availability of jobs, roads and other infrastructure, clean water, electricity and food.

Among other key findings:

  • 69% criticise Pakistan for allowing the Taleban to operate
  • 60% want the government to do a peace deal with the Taleban
  • 62% say growing poppies for opium is unacceptable

The Afghan Centre for Social and Opinion Research in Kabul carried out the fieldwork, via face-to-face interviews with 1377 randomly-selected Afghan adults between October 28 and November 17 2007. Poll by Charney Research of New York, commissioned by the BBC, ABC News of America and ARD of Germany.

SEE ALSO
Afghan optimism for future fading
03 Dec 07 |  South Asia
Country profile: Afghanistan
03 Aug 07 |  Country profiles
Afghan army to 'treble in size'
02 Dec 07 |  South Asia
'Bin Laden message' to Europeans
29 Nov 07 |  South Asia

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