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> Public Confidence in Democracy Remains High in Pakistan - PILDAT Survey
International Day of Democracy
September 14, 2015


For English version, see below.


Public Confidence in Democracy Remains High in Pakistan - PILDAT Survey

  1. 66% of Pakistanis Look Favourably Upon the Overall Quality of Democracy in Pakistan: PILDAT Releases Findings of the Public Opinion Poll on the Quality of Democracy in Pakistan: June 2014-May 2015 to Commemorate the International Day of Democracy
  2. 64% of the Respondents Believe that Democratically Elected Governments Constitute the Best System for Pakistan; Only 20% see Another Military Rule as Best for the Country
  3. 80% of the Respondents say that Holding Local Government Elections Nationwide in Pakistan is Important
  4. 64% of the Respondents Rate Positively Freedom and Independence of the Media
  5. Popular Grievances Pinned Down on the Poor Performance of Bureaucracy, Rather Than on Politicians: Only 33% of the Respondents Rate Positively the Effectiveness of the Bureaucracy
  6. 56% of the Respondents Repose ‘High’ to ‘Very High’ Level of Trust in their Favourite Political Party

September 14; In encouraging signs for Pakistan’s democracy, 66% of respondents looked favourably upon the quality of democracy in the country, whereas 64% believe that democratically elected governments constitute the best system for Pakistan. It also seems that the people of Pakistan have decided to depart from the history of Military takeovers, with only 20% of the respondents stating that another Military takeover would be beneficial for the country.

These findings are released from PILDAT Public Opinion Poll on the Quality of Democracy in Pakistan for the Second Year of the Federal and Provincial Governments, June 2014-May 2015 on the International Day of Democracy.

Denoting the importance people of Pakistan attach with Local Governments, a substantial 80% of the respondents said that holding Local Government elections nationwide are somewhat to very important. On the other hand, 72% of respondents believed that elected Local Governments are somewhat to very important in solving the problems faced by Pakistani Citizens.

Finding of PILDAT’s Public Opinion Poll also show that popular grievances are getting pinned down on the poor performance of bureaucracy, with only 33% of the respondents rating positively its effectiveness. On the other hand, 56% of the respondents stated that they reposed high to very high level of trust in their favourite political party.

The survey results are released from a two-part PILDAT survey covering separately Quality of Governance and Quality of Democracy. The two-part public opinion survey was conducted by PILDAT upon the completion of the 2nd year of National and Provincial Assemblies and Governments in office in May 2015. The nationwide poll was conducted during June 02-12, 2015 with a nationally representative sample size of 3231 citizens throughout Pakistan.

Public Opinion was assessed on the basis of 11 core indicators of democracy. In a positive development, there emerged 6 indicators with approval ratings of more than 50% implying that majority of the population expressed its approval on the issues.  These included:

  1. Overall Quality of Democracy (66%)
  2. Independence of Media (64%)
  3. Effectiveness of the Supreme Court (55%)
  4. Trust in Favourite Political Party (56%)
  5. Effectiveness of the Federal Cabinet (52%)
  6. Democratic Oversight of the Security Sector (51%)

Notwithstanding this overall positivity in democratic assessment, the 5 out of the 11 Indicators assessed in this public opinion poll received approval ratings below 50%, which included:

  1. Effectiveness of the Bureaucracy (33%)
  2. Safeguarding Sovereignty of the State (43%)
  3. Transfer of Powers at the Provincial Level (44%)
  4. Respect for Human Rights (47%);
  5. Effectiveness of the National Assembly (48%)


Figure 1: Trust in Institutions

Findings of the Public Opinion Poll also showed that the Military continues to be the most popular State Institution with an Approval Rating of 75%. Respondents also reposed high level of trust in the Supreme Court/High Courts, the Electronic Media and the Print Media.

The Supreme and High Courts of Pakistan earned a strong Approval Rating of 62%, and the Electronic Media and the Print Media Approval Ratings of 53% and 55% respectively. It was however disappointing to see that institutions such as the National Assembly and the Election Commission, that may be considered the bastions of a democracy, could not retain high-level of public’s trust. Similar was the case with the Police, which managed to garner an Approval Rating of 32% amongst the respondents.