Pak elections wont be credible without pre-Nov 3 scenario: US expert

December 12th, 2007 - 1:21 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Dec 12 (ANI): The January 8 elections in Pakistan wont be credible without the Constitution being reinstated, politicians being free to campaign, the media free to report, and all activists are freed from detention, according to a Heritage Foundation expert.

Lisa Curtis, who will be a member of the International Republican Institute election monitoring team to Pakistan, was quoted by the Daily Times as saying that mainstream political parties of Pakistan must demonstrate strength so that the vast majority of Pakistanis do not support the extremist Islamic agenda.

Political stability in Pakistan and Islamabads prosecution of the terrorism war depend on the integrity and credibility of the forthcoming parliamentary elections, she writes.

Curtis also cautioned that any direct US meddling in the election could backfire.

If a free and fair election is held in January, it will be important for the US Government to work effectively with whomever is elected, even as it maintains close ties to the Pakistan military, writes Curtis.

She maintained that the US should avoid precipitous, punitive measures, such as cutting military or economic assistance.

Washington should be mindful of the impact of the 1990 aid cut-off in Pakistan and how that still causes many Pakistanis to believe that the US is a fickle partner, she said.

Curtis went on to say that the US aid to Pakistan not only help the Pakistan Army to fight against extremists, but also supports human development activities, adding, Cutting US assistance would embolden al Qaeda and jeopardise future relations. (ANI)

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