I wouldnt say Sharif is more or less acceptable to US: Boucher

January 5th, 2008 - 12:30 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Nawaz Sharif

Washington, Jan 5 (ANI): US Assistant Secretary of State for Central and South Asian Affairs Richard Boucher disagreed with the suggestion that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had become more acceptable to the US after Benazir Bhuttos assassination.
“I wouldnt say anybody is more or less acceptable. I would say that we will work with whoever is elected in Pakistan through a democratic process, and our desire is to see a well founded democratically elected government,” the Dawn quoted Boucher, as saying.
“Our hope is that all the moderate parties will join together, and work together, for a successful transition, and a strongly based platform from which to fight terrorism,” he added.
Commenting on media reports that the US was unwilling to trust Sharif because of his links to religious parties, Boucher said: “A lot of things are said about us.”
“Our view is that the Pakistani people need a chance to decide on their government. Whoever they decide on as the leader of Pakistan, well work with that person and those people. Our goal is to work with a democratically elected government whoever that would be,” he emphasised.
Boucher also rejected media reports that Washington encouraged Benazir to return home as incorrect. “Nobody had to encourage her to go back to Pakistan”, he said.
“She very much wanted to go back to Pakistan. She had been talking for a long time about trying to get back, to participate in politics, the political campaign. She knew what the risks were to going back, but she was very, very committed,” Boucher said.
Benazir knew that it was inherently dangerous to go back and campaign, but she absolutely wanted to be involved in Pakistani politics and a democratic process, he added.
Boucher said the US had made it very clear to Pakistan that having a free media was one of the essential parts of having a good election.
“Youve got 40 more days now (and) we want to see 40 days of progress” towards a free media, the Dawn quoted Boucher, as saying. (ANI)

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