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Poll: Most Afghans optimistic about future

Wednesday - 11/14/2012, 5:40am  ET

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Most Afghans believe their country is headed in the right direction but still worry about the lack of security resulting from the 11-year war, a public opinion survey by a major international non-profit group said Wednesday.

The poll released by the Asia Foundation also found that an overwhelming majority of Afghan adults back the government's efforts to negotiate and reconcile with armed insurgent groups.

Only 30 percent of respondents in the poll expressed sympathy for the guerrillas, while nearly two-thirds said they did not support them.

But when asked why the Taliban continue to fight, the most common reason cited was opposition to the presence of foreign troops in the country. Other reasons included a desire to gain power, illiteracy, support from Pakistan and corruption.

The survey, which included 89 question on a wide range of issues, showed that the vast majority of Afghans see corruption as a major problem in all facets of life and at all levels of governance. Nearly 80 percent of respondents said graft was a serious problem across the country, the report said.

The in-person survey of 6,290 adults from all 34 provinces, conducted with support from several international development agencies, has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.1 percentage points. The Asia Foundation's annual surveys are regularly cited by many groups working in Afghanistan.

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