US, Britain welcome Musharraf’s pledge to hold polls

November 14th, 2007 - 10:30 am ICT by admin  

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the planned election and Musharraf’s latest pledge to quit as army chief were a “positive element.”

“These have been both essential to getting Pakistan back on the democratic path,” Rice was quoted as saying, while speaking to a news television.

At the same time she urged Musharraf to lift emergency rule “as soon as possible,” reported the News.

Welcoming Musharraf’s announcement of elections, a spokesperson for the British foreign ministry said: “We welcome the dissolution of the national assembly on schedule and confirmation of timetable for elections to take place before January 9,”

“But we still want to see urgent action to restore the constitution, release political prisoners, pursue reconciliation with the political opposition, honour the president’s commitment to step down as army chief and lift restrictions on the media,” the spokesperson added.

Meanwhile, terming the President’s announcement for a date for holding the general elections in country as sagacious, Pakistan’s Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said the decision would help enhance government’s credibility.

Earlier today, Musharraf expressed hope that new parliamentary elections can be held in Pakistan by January 9. (ANI)

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