ISLAMABAD: A survey conducted by Gallup Pakistan revealed that 47 percent Pakistanis think Prime Minister Imran Khan has destroyed the country’s economy, endorsing a recent survey of France-based organization Ipsos which stated that 4 in 5 Pakistanis foresee the economy further deteriorating.

Gallup Pakistan has conducted a survey following the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif’s recent speech. Five questions were asked in the survey with one relating to his handling of the economy. In his recent speech at All Parties Conference, Nawaz Sharif said, ‘Imran Khan has destroyed the economy of Pakistan.’ Gallup posted the question whether one agrees or disagrees with this statement?

A majority of 47 percent agreed with former prime minister’s statement that Imran Khan has destroyed Pakistan’s economy, while 41 percent disagree and 12 percent did not respond.

Ipsos, in its survey titled “Consumer Confidence Survey in Pakistan”, claimed that four in five Pakistanis continued to fear that the country was heading in the wrong direction since last year. It also noted that three in four Pakistanis expressed dissatisfaction with the way things are going in Pakistan today, while the same proportion of Pakistanis described as bad the current economic situation in the country.

The Ipsos survey found that 75 percent of the most worrying issues related to economic despair of the masses; and significant increase in inflation and poverty are regarded as major issues since August last year.

According to Ipsos survey high cost of living is the most important worrying issue across all provinces, followed by unemployment and increasing poverty, while corruption was among top five worries in Punjab and in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with power load shedding prominent only in Sindh. The survey also revealed that only one in 20 Pakistanis rated the current local economy as strong.

Looking ahead six months from now, 4 in 5 Pakistanis foresee the economy deteriorating, the survey noted adding that two in five Pakistanis considered their personal financial situation as weak while over 50 percent Pakistanis expected it to be even weaker in the next six months. The survey claimed that Global Consumer Confidence Index for Pakistan stood at 28.9 in September 2020 against global average of 41.8.

According to Gallup Pakistan survey 33 percent agreed with the former prime minister’s general point of view. A larger 39 percent said they disagreed and 24 percent said they neither agreed nor disagreed. As many as 1,500 respondents from 100 districts of Pakistan participated in the survey. The survey showed that 21 percent Pakistanis heard the speech of Nawaz Sharif.

To the question posed in Gallup survey as to whether the former prime minister should return to the country or not, the survey’s results revealed that an overwhelming majority of the people want Nawaz to return and face the courts. Around 78 percent respondents want Nawaz Sharif to return to Pakistan and face the justice system. Only 15 percent agreed that he should stay out of Pakistan.

To another question whether respondents support Nawaz Sharif’s statement that only the politicians should run the affairs of the country, 51 percent respondents agreed, while 40 percent disagreed.