US cant do much more now to prod Pakistan towards democracy: White House

November 20th, 2007 - 12:35 pm ICT by admin  

Richmond (Virginia), Nov 20 (ANI): US President George W Bush has urged Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf to lift the emergency, and nothing more than this can be done right now, the White House Spokeswoman has said.

Well, remember, Pakistan is a sovereign country. The President (Bush) can urge Musharraf to take a different course, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said aboard Air Force One en route Richmond.

Perino also said that one should not expect instant results in diplomacy and keep the dialogue process on.

In diplomacy, when you have this type of outreach, you can’t expect instant results. So we are going to continue to have an open line of communication and dialogue, she said.

We’ll have to continue to monitor the situation as it evolves, to see what happens next, she added.

When asked whether the Bush Administration was still reviewing the aid to Pakistan, Perino said: I believe that they (State Department and Department of Defence) are still reviewing it.

One of the key parts of our aid has been to try to help to bring jobs to areas that had been very remote, had not had any type of way to earn a living, and to help people turn away from extremism by being able to have some sort of livelihood, she added.

Perino said that she did not receive any time frame form the Musharraf regime for the general elections in Pakistan.

She, however, said that free and fair elections couldnt be held under a situation where the media is not allowed to report on the issues of the day and people aren’t allowed to campaign.

She pointed out the there has been a lot of movement in the past several years by Pakistan to become a more moderate state. They changed some of the gender-based laws so that more opportunities are afforded to women. There were increased freedoms of the press; civil society was allowed to start to gain some momentum and to have the right to protest and to speak their minds. (ANI)

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