Indians Oppose Possible US Offensive On Iraq: TNS Poll

Mumbai, February 3: | Updated: Feb 4 2003, 05:30am hrs
That the Indian government is strictly against an American led offensive on Iraq is widely known, but that the majority of Indian nationals stringently oppose a US led offensive, has been revealed by a Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS) Mode exclusive international opinion poll for Gallup International.

A majority 59 per cent of the 1,048 Indian respondents in the metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, stated that they were under no circumstances, in favour of any military action against Iraq. Around 29 per cent left room for a possible military strike sanctioned by the United Nations (UN), 7.7 per cent were in favour of a unilateral military strike by the US and its allies, while 4.2 per cent either reserved judgement or had no opinion on the same.

If military action was taken against Iraq, 62.4 per cent of Indians surveyed stated that India must not under any circumstances support such an offensive. While 34.5 per cent stated that India must support an offensive, if it was launched, 3.1 per cent had no opinion on the matter.While the US government issues warnings and threats to Iraqi president Saddam Hussain and the threat of war looms near, 37.3 per cent of Indians believe that it is quite likely that the offensive will be launched in the next few months, 28.2 per cent think that such a scenario is very likely, 15.6 per cent think that the launch is not very likely, while 13.5 per cent are optimistically confident that such a strike is not likely at all. Then again, 5.2 per cent dont have an opinion on the matter.

With regard to controversial opinion of whether the American foreign policy has any impact on India, 45.6 per cent of those surveyed believed that US foreign policy had a negative impact on India, 27.4 per cent thought that it had a positive impact, 19.2 per cent believed it had no impact whatsoever, while 7.8 per cent did not respond to the query.

The poll, which was conducted across 41 countries, interviewed nearly 30,000 respondents with the respondents selected randomly across SEC A & B urban households, males and females (in a ratio of 50:50) among the age group 18 - 65 years old.