US wants Musharraf to do more towards restoration of democracy

November 27th, 2007 - 12:31 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Nov 27 (ANI): Asserting that Pakistan needs to return to a fully democratic government with a civilian President, the US has reaffirmed its call for lifting of emergency in that country.

State Department official Major General Wahed Arshad welcomed the announcement by the Pakistan Army that President General Pervez Musharraf would shed his uniform before taking oath as a civilian head of state for the next term. But added that Musharraf needed to do more towards the establishment of a fully democratic government.

“We are encouraged by the announcement that President Musharraf will retire from the Army later this week. It is a step toward putting the country back on the path to greater democracy,” Maj. Gen. Arshad said.

The Nation quoted Maj. Gen. Arshad as saying that the US also believes that the “state of emergency needs to be lifted, political leaders, activists, and media representatives who have been detained should be released, and restrictions against the media should be dropped.”

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack also welcomed the announcement by saying that “those are pretty good, those are positive,” but more needed to be done.

Pakistans Defence Ministry issued a notification of Musharrafs retirement as Chief of Army Staff (COAS) after being in office for nine years to start his second term as president.

Musharraf will take oath as civilian president at 11am on Thursday after relinquishing the charge of army chief.

Yes, he is going to take oath at 11am on Thursday, Musharrafs spokesman Maj Gen (r) Rashid Qureshi told Daily Times.

According to Defence Ministry sources, Musharraf would start holding farewell meetings anytime now.

Musharraf will meet top military commanders, principal staff officers and senior colleagues, sources were quoted as saying. The formal handing over of charge to his successor is also part of the farewell proceedings, they added.

The paper said that preparations for the ceremony to mark the change of army command were underway, and a formal ceremony would take place at General Headquarters in Rawalpindi.
Sources added that the Defence Ministry would announce the appointment of the new chief of army staff after the completion of the ceremony. (ANI)

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