Most of the people in Pakistan view the US as an enemy and see a significant threat from India though extremist groups are active in the country, said a poll from Pew Research Centre , Washington-based think tank.

At the same time, they are far less concerned about the Taliban and Al-Qaida. Only 51 percent of respondents are concerned about extremist taking control of the country.

“Negative views toward these groups have become a little less prevalent over the past year, while positive views have crept up slightly,” the report said.

Decline in support for US

Despite billions of dollars of economic and military aid to Pakistan, the US image in the country was the lowest among 22 nations included in the poll.

Nearly six-in-ten (59 percent) of Pakistanis consider the U.S. as an enemy with only 11 percent accepting it as a partner, said the report.

President Barack Obama’s popularity is very low in the country with only 8 percent of the people showing confidence in his handling of world affairs.

Two-thirds (65 percent) of the Pakistanis strongly condemn the US-led war in Afghanistan and want US and NATO troops taken out as early as possible. Only 25 per cent of the people see a major impact on the country if Taliban takes control on Afghanistan again.

But, majority (64 percent) of Pakistanis want better relations with the US in spite of widespread negative opinions, according to the report.

India more threatening than extremist groups

Along with US, majority are concerned about the threat from longtime rival and neighbor country, India. More than half of the Pakistanis express India as their greatest threat when asked about the threat from India, the Taliban or al-Qaida. Only 3 percent feel threat from Al-Qaida.

Negative view on Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistani extremist group responsible for Mumbai terrorist attacks in November 2008, is much lower than other extremist groups.

Though high tensions prevail between the two nations, 72 percent of the people expect relations to improve and three-quarters want increased trade and talks.

Regarding the support for the harsh laws, many Pakistanis endorse extreme views about law, religion and society. More than eight-in-ten support segregating men and women in the workplace, stoning adulterers and whipping and cutting off the hands of thieves. Roughly three-in-four endorse the death penalty for those who leave Islam, the report said.