Capitol Hill increases pressure for reversal of emergency in PakNovember 14th, 2007 - 10:20 am ICT by admin
US Deputy Secretary of State John Negraponte, who appeared before Congress, was subjected to some of the hardest questioning recently witnessed on Capitol Hill.
By the time the marathon session ended, it was clear that the Congress wanted an immediate end to the emergency. There was also near unanimity on the need for Musharraf to take off his uniform.
Gary Ackerman said the Pakistan Army is tracking down al Qaeda or Taliban terrorists, but suppressing protests.
He accused the Bush Administration of ignoring democratic development in Pakistan and turning a blind eye as “Musharraf manipulates the political process to ensure his continued terror in office”.
“The US should have a relationship with the Pakistani people, not just the military and certainly not just Musharraf,” Ackerman said.
Dan Burton, known as a friend of Pakistan, said: “We force Musharraf out, we beat the hell out of him and see him removed, and what do you think is going to happen?”
“I mean, we all want to see democracy, freedom and human rights, but we might very well get the same thing we saw back when the Shah (of Iran) was removed, and I don’t think we want to see that… We must realise one thing, and that is, if we’re not careful, we’re going to see the same thing happen that happened in Iran, and Pakistan is a nuclear power,” Burton said.
William Delahunt of Massachusetts said: “From all reports, it’s the moderates, the democratic elements within Pakistan that are being attacked by the Musharraf regime. And that’s the bottom line. They are under assault, and I’m very concerned that we are going to once again align ourselves not with the democratic elements within that society, but with a despot, a militarist, if you will.”
Dana Rohrabacher of California said: “And let me just note, who cares if Musharraf takes off his uniform? It’s time for him to go. I don’t care if he’s in his uniform or out of his uniform; it’s time for him to go. He has been apolitical juggler and he has failed at that.”
Rohrabacher said that it’s time for us to start really supporting the moderates, and have the courage to understand if we really stand with democracy, in the end it will work out for us.
“But if not, none of the moderates will ever believe in the United States in the long run anyway. And I’ll be very happy for you to disagree with me and show me where I’m wrong, but that’s coming from the heart,” the Daily Times quoted him, as saying. (ANI)