Negroponte asks Pakistan to lift curbs on media, end emergency

November 18th, 2007 - 11:49 am ICT by admin  

Islamabad, Nov 18 (ANI): The US Deputy Secretary of State, John Negroponte, has said that for fair and independent elections in Pakistan, it is necessary to lift emergency and take back restrictions on media, and stop actions against political leaders in the country.
Negroponte urged embattled President Pervez Musharraf to end the state of emergency in Pakistan and restart talks with the political opponents.
Negroponte said moderation was “the best way forward” for the nuclear-armed Islamic state, a close US ally in the “war on terror” whose political crisis has rattled nerves in Washington.
He held talks here with Musharraf and other senior officials including the Generals deputy, as well as opposition leader and former premier Benazir Bhutto.
Speaking to reporters at the US Embassy before leaving, Negroponte said it was too early to talk of success or failure in his meetings, acknowledging that the situation had “polarised somewhat” after a week in which Bhutto was twice placed under house arrest.
Negroponte, the most senior US official to visit since Musharraf declared emergency rule two weeks ago, urged him to call off the measures, release all political detainees, lift curbs on the media and ensure free elections, The News reported. (ANI)

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