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Reality, deception and hidden agenda of opinion polls in Pakistan

Here are two articles (by Afreen Baig and Abbas Athar) on this topic critiquing the validity as well as the hidden agenda of political surveys and polls published in Pakistani and international media.

Foreign Polls and Surveys: Reality, Deception and Hidden Agenda
By Afreen Baig

Recently, it has become sort of a fashion, to refer to Foreign Polls and Surveys while speculating on the future of Pakistan and the popularity levels of our leaders. Later it was Pakistan’s election process and its consequences. The media religiously quote these Polls and Surveys to pursue their specific agenda and give credibility to their rumoring views and specious news. The faith is so great that the credulous Pubic doesn’t even bother to check on the reliability, funding and intentions of the lobbies behind these Polls and Surveys.

[A survey released by the U.S based International Republican Institute was released recently with all sorts of negative indicators shown associated with the elected government of the PPP and its coalition partners.]

The credibility of these organizations leaves a huge question mark, when they fail to come clean and clear about their affiliations and their loyalty to their financiers. Who funds them and for what purpose?

Founded in 1983, the International Republican Institute (IRI) is an organization, funded by United States government. The IRI operates as a political organization abroad, providing training and assistance to political parties. One could question the interest of the IRI in elections of other countries and the kind of assistance or leverage it provides to their political parties? Why would Pakistan’s political parties require assistance from abroad, specifically the IRI?

As a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt organization, IRI plays no part in domestic U.S. politics. It further raises suspicions, as to why a US organization is not allowed to publish polls and surveys about their own elections, while meddling in Pakistan?

The majority of its board, staff and consultants are drawn from the Republican Party. Most of its staff and board have links to right-wing think tanks, foundations, and policy institutes, while many also represent major financial, oil, and defense corporations. Oil and Defense corporations – the root cause of all recent evil wars!

IRI Board of Directors includes the current aspiring US Presidential candidate Senator Mc Cain. No wonder the Republican Party was eager to group with late Benazir Bhutto and wanted to see the moderate forces together. The IRI was projecting fraudulently the future allies of the Republicans i.e. the PPP in the upcoming Pakistani elections.

The IRI is also accused of training some of the leaders of the 2004 coup d’etat in Haiti, as well as funding opposition groups in the country in a destabilization campaign in the months leading up the removal of democratically-elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide by a coalition of Canada, USA and France.

Afreen Baig is an independent analyst majoring in International Relations and Economics. She can be reached at afreenbaig@gmail.com

Abbas Ather’s column: A new survey: A new conspiracy?


(Express, 23 Dec 2008)

(Express, 25 Dec 2008)