US, UK hail Musharrafs pledge to lift emergency on Dec. 16

November 30th, 2007 - 2:08 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Nov 30 (ANI): The United States has welcomed President Pervez Musharrafs announcement to end the emergency on December 16, describing it as a “good step” towards democratic development.
“We welcome this step” as the President Bush said yesterday that it is an essential step in order to get Pakistan back on the path to democracy,” White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino, said.
“I think it is a good step that he (Musharraf) is going to lift the emergency on December 16 and that the election will be held without this emergency order,” Perino added.
“We look to the candidates and the people of Pakistan to fully participate in these free and fair elections; that they be able to voice their opinions, that they be able to this step,” she said.
Perino also urged Musharraf to ensure that his critics are able to voice their opinions, and they are able to have the freedom of the press, the Daily Times reported.
Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has welcomed the decision by Musharraf to step down formally as Army Chief.
In a statement issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth office, Brown said: “I welcome the decision by Musharraf to step down formally as Chief of Army Staff.”
“This is an important part of the process that Musharraf has told me that he wants to rapidly restore constitutional order. We understand the threat to Pakistans peace and security. But I have urged Musharraf to use the normal democratic processes to respond,” the statement said.
“I welcome Musharrafs announcement that the emergency will be lifted on December 16, and the Constitution will be restored,” British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, said.
“The UK looks forward to the lifting of this emergency and to the lifting of all the remaining restrictions. These steps are necessary so that all parties can participate fully and so that free and fair elections can take place,” he added. (ANI)

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