Musharraf deserves no help, says Democrat presidential contender Bill Richardson

November 14th, 2007 - 2:29 am ICT by admin  
According to a report in the Baltimore Sun, Richardson, the Governor of New Mexico and former UN ambassador, contended that Bush should be helping developing countries on issues involving renewable energy, food assistance and microlending practices.

“I would not give him any assistance.I would not give him the kind of assistance we give him unless he does something about the safe havens of the terrorists,” the paper quoted ,” Richardson as telling reporters after delivering a speech on the global challenges ahead.

“My international experience tells me that we should address this problem (of failures in the U.S. relationship with Pakistan) with tough diplomacy with General Musharraf first, leaving the military as a last resort,” Richardson said in a statement.

“It is important to reach out to moderate Muslim states and allies to ensure we do not unnecessarily inflame the Muslim world,” he added.

On Thursday, Richardson accused the administration of assisting “dictators like Musharraf in Pakistan” and “helping dictators all over the Middle East” and providing foreign aid to “corrupt dictators that are not helping us.”

“He was elected in a way that does not support legitimacy and he should have free and fair elections,” Richardson said of Musharraf’s October 6 win in Pakistan’s parliamentary election for president, which is being challenged.

“But he is the leader there. Pakistan is a strategic ally, but we should use our leverage on him to go after the terrorists and to become more democracy oriented,” Richardson said.

Richardson’s comments came shortly before explosions in Karachi, Pakistan, rocked the return of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who returned to the country Thursday from exile. Musharraf has been one of Bush’s staunchest allies in the war on terrorism.

In his address, Richardson called for America to take a leadership role on world issues involving the environment, hunger, human rights and development, at an unspecified cost. Noting his role in diplomatic efforts that occurred even as New Mexico governor, Richardson said, “We cannot afford leadership that has not been tested” on the world stage.

“My colleagues in this race have my respect, but it is a simple fact that the next international deal negotiated by any of them will be their first,” Richardson said. (ANI)

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