US administration not changing Pakistan policyJanuary 29th, 2008 - 1:26 pm ICT by admin
Washington, Jan.29 (ANI): The warm reception accorded to two opposition delegations from Pakistan on Capitol Hill recently , reflects the changing mood of politics in America where Democrats are openly distancing themselves from current rulers in Islamabad.
The first to arrive in Washington was a Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf delegation led by none other than its chief, Imran Khan. The PTI chief had two items on his agenda: seeking US support for the restoration of the judiciary and convincing the Americans that an election at this stage would further destabilise Pakistan.
Soon after his arrival, Khan announced that he was not seeking to see Bush administration officials because Washington will have a new administration in a year and he sees no benefit in meeting an outgoing administration.
Khans reception on the Hill was the warmest ever the former cricketer has had in the US legislature. He met a number of senior lawmakers, but the meetings did not lead to any expression of support for PTIs demands. Senate Majority leader Harry Reid did issue a statement after the meeting, urging the Bush administration to suspend financial aid to Pakistan if the February 18 elections are rigged but it made no mention of Khans demands to postpone the elections or to restore the judiciary, reports the Dawn.
The PPP delegation, headed by its Information Secretary Sherry Rehman, had larger meetings and keener audience, both on the Hill and in the administration.
Top on their agenda was to seek US support for PPPs demand for a UN-led probe into Ms Bhuttos murder. They also demanded a greater United States involvement in ensuring that the Feb 18 elections are fair and free.
Those on the Hill strongly supported both the demands. Some even issued statements saying that they thought the UN involvement in the investigation would add credibility to the process and would have calming affect on the situation in Pakistan.
Sources in the administration, however, told Dawn that US officials listened patiently when Rehman and other members of the delegation raised their demand for a UN-led probe and a greater US involvement in the electoral process but made no commitment.
They urged the delegation to look ahead and work with other parties to ensure that Pakistan is able to achieve a stable democratic setup after the elections.
The officials assured them that the US administration is committed to democracy and hopes that the upcoming elections will be reasonably fair. (ANI)
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