Nobel peace prize to Obama draws huge criticism from Pakistanis

      The decision to confer the Nobel Peace Prize to US President Barack Obama has not gone down well in Pakistan, particularly amid massive discontent over the US strategy to expand its presence in the country. The US being engaged in an 'unpopular' war in Afghanistan along the Pakistan border, and the relentless missile strikes by US drones in the lawless tribal areas along the Afghan border, is largely working against the Obama Administration and giving rise to anti-America sentiments among the Pakistanis. According to a recent survey, about 80 percent of Pakistanis are against their government's decision to support the US operation against militants based inside the country's boundaries. While Obama enjoys a global goodwill, he is not seen differently from his predecessors in Pakistan, particularly due to the paranoia surrounding the expansion of the US Embassy in Islamabad and the alleged presence of a private US Security Company, Blackwater. While some are hugely critical of Obama's revamped AFPAK strategy, some believe that the prestigious peace award has mainly to do with his 'charisma'. "It seems like the decision revolves around his charisma and all the hype surrounding his presidency, and the euphoria after the Bush years. Closing Guantánamo was a good start, but you really need more results," The Christian Science Monitor quoted Rabia Shahid, a law-college lecturer in Lahore, as saying. Common Pakistanis, who earn their bread on a daily basis, may not know about the intricate issues such as the AFPAK policy, but they hate Obama for reasons only they know. "Everyone I know curses Obama, and if he was here in front of me, I would curse him, too," said Nasir Ali, an Islamabad taxi driver.

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