ISLAMABAD  -      A combined 57 percent of respondents, in a new nationwide poll of Pakistanis by the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center for Insights in Survey Research, believe that Prime Minister Imran Khan is doing a ‘very good job’ while 56 percent have given an approval to the government policies.

The survey results announced on Thursday reveal strong approval ratings for the new government and reposes confidence in the July 2018 elections.

According to the survey, the respondents expressed their concern over the state of economy, but at the same time 17 per cent said Prime Minister Imran Khan was doing a ‘good job’ and 40 percent said they were in agreement with his policies.

“Poor economic conditions are a significant source of concern for Pakistanis,” said Johanna Kao, IRI Regional Director for Asia. “Despite Pakistan’s economic challenges, confidence in the new government and the prime minister is high. Pakistanis seem to be willing to give the government time to deliver on its campaign promises, which will require difficult economic reforms to revitalise the country’s struggling economy.” 

A plurality of respondents; 40 percent said that they were willing to give the government one year; 26 percent said two years, and 14 percent said he had started delivering on his campaign promises.

“The survey suggests that government’s performance will be judged primarily on its ability to address pressing economic concerns,” said Johanna Kao. Inflation was singled out as the most important problem in Pakistan by 39 percent, followed by poverty, as pointed out by 18 percent and unemployment as mentioned by 15 percent.

Nearly 77 percent of respondents between ages of 18 and 35 see lack of jobs as the biggest challenge facing young people in Pakistan.

The poll also indicates high levels of confidence in the results of the July 2018 national elections. A clear majority (84 percent) say that the results are either “very accurate” (46 percent) or “somewhat accurate” (38 percent). A combined 83 percent believe that the election was either “completely free and fair” (50 percent) or “mostly free and fair” (33 percent).

According to IRI, this survey was conducted on behalf of the Center for Insights in Survey Research. Data was collected between November 1 and November 22, 2018 through in-home, in-person interviews. The sample consisted of 3,991 respondents aged 18 and older and is representative of voting-age adults nationally. The margin of error was 1.6 percent.