Anti-American sentiment may have reached historic highs in this country, but for many Pakistanis, the indignation does not extend to their bellies.
Just over the past few days, Islamabad inaugurated its first Hardee’s restaurant and its first American-style sports bar. In recent months, McDonald’s not only reopened its only restaurant in the capital but also added a home-delivery outlet. Those businesses join existing burger joints and other American fast-food restaurants such as Pizza Hut, KFC and Domino’s Pizza.
The proliferation of American food options in Islamabad and elsewhere in Pakistan stands in stark contrast to the growing resentment most Pakistanis feel toward the United States. According to an opinion survey released last month by the Pew Research Center, only 12 percent of Pakistanis have a favorable opinion of the United States, and 69 percent see it as more of an enemy than a partner. Approval ratings are at their lowest point since 2002, according to the Washington-based organization.