US urges Pakistan’s victorious parties to work together

February 20th, 2008 - 12:07 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pervez Musharraf
Washington, Feb 20 (DPA) The US urged the victorious political parties in Pakistan’s parliamentary elections to work closely together to fight terrorism. US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the US will also continue its relationship with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, whose party suffered a resounding defeat in Monday’s balloting.

“What we will urge is that those moderate forces within Pakistani politics who now have a seat at the table, so to speak … should band together, should work together for a few goals that are in the interest of Pakistan,” McCormack said Tuesday.

Those goals should include moving forward with economic and democratic reforms and fighting against violent extremists and terrorists on Pakistani soil, McCormack said.

Musharraf has been one of Washington’s most important allies in the war on terrorism, but his crackdown on opposition groups, the media and democratic institutions have generated protests across the country.

Musharraf’s Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) finished a distant third in the election, capturing only 38 of the 272 contested seats in the National Assembly.

The Pakistani Peoples Party (PPP), the party of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated Dec 27, was the biggest victor, winning 255 seats. McCormack expressed confidence the PPP is committed to fighting terrorism.

“That party, more so than any other political party in Pakistan right now, feels acutely the threat from violent extremists and terrorism, having had their party leader recently assassinated,” he said.

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