US backs Benazir’s call for mass protests against emergency rule

November 14th, 2007 - 10:15 am ICT by admin  
Commenting on Bhutto’s call for street protests, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said: “There should be a right for people to express themselves.”

McCormack rejected concerns that Bhutto’s call would spark further violence.

“I don’t think anybody should look at actions and say that they are going to inevitably lead to violence,” he said.

“People have a choice. People have a choice in what they do and have a choice in how they react,” McCormack said.

“We’ve preached the idea to all parties of calm during this particularly turbulent period in Pakistan’s political system,” McCormack said.

“I don’t think anybody wants to see outbreak of violence. What we want to see is a peaceful return to constitutional democratic rule,” he told reporters.

“Our counsel to all parties has been to maintain that atmosphere of calm… and focus on those actions that take Pakistan back to democratic rule,” the Dawn quoted McCormack, as saying.

Earlier, Bhutto had warned Musharraf to lift the state of emergency in the country and announce free and fair elections, otherwise the party’s November 9 election rally in Rawalpindi would turn into a protest demonstration.

“The people of Pakistan are against the imposition of emergency in the country and want free and fair elections. President Musharraf should fulfil his promise and announce free and fair elections after lifting the emergency,” she told reporters at Zardari House. (ANI)

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