A new survey of public opinion in Pakistan indicates that more than 80 percent of people see the Taliban as a critical threat to the country -- a huge increase from the 34 percent who reported similar feelings in 2007.
The survey by the University of Maryland polling group found that while Pakistanis appear to view the Taliban threat much more seriously, a large majority (69%) continue to have an unfavorable view of the American government -- despite the election of a new U.S. president.
Almost two-thirds of people in Pakistan said they do not have confidence in President Barack Obama.
Pakistanis also continue to hold a negative view of foreign troops operating in Afghanistan. Some 72 percent of people said they disapprove of the NATO mission in Afghanistan and 79 percent said they want it to end now.
The poll reported that while 68 percent of Pakistanis said they view President Asif Zardari unfavorably, large majorities continue to have confidence in the government (69%) and the military (72%) to handle the ongoing battle against Taliban militants in the Swat valley.
The poll by World Public Opinion said local consultants in Islamabad questioned some 1,000 people across Pakistan in late May. Researchers said the findings have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.