MONTREAL (AFP) – Most Afghans see NATO troops’ presence in their country as positive, and want them to stay, a poll published in Canadian media found.
The survey done by the company Environics for CBC, The Globe and Mail and La Presse, questioned more than 1,500 Afghans.
According to the survey 60 percent of those polled saw the presence of foreign troops in their country as positive while 16 percent saw it as a bad thing.
In the south, in the Kandahar region, where the presence of Taliban is stronger than in the north, the percentage of people opposed to NATO troops’ presence is higher at 23 percent but 61 percent still are in favor.
Fourteen percent of those surveyed said they wanted foreign troops out immediately.
According to Environics, 38 percent said they thought foreign troops should be in their country for periods of 1-5 years, and 43 percent said they should stay as long as it takes to defeat the Taliban and restore order.
A large majority, 73 percent, said they had a very or rather negative view of the Taliban.
Fifty-one percent of those polled said their country was headed in the right direction (48 percent in the Kandahar area) while 73 percent said conditions for women had improved.
Only 40 percent said they believed that with foreign support the Afghan government would defeat the Taliban. Twenty-nine percent said it was too early to say, and 19 percent believe the Taliban will be back in power once foreign troops pull out.
The poll of 1,578 people was taken September 17-24. It has a margin of errpr of 3.8 percent.