US continues to back Musharraf-Bhutto power-sharing deal

November 14th, 2007 - 3:18 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Nov 14 (ANI): A political reconciliation between President General Pervez Musharraf and former premier Benazir Bhutto may not be yet in sight, but the US is continuing its backing for a power-sharing arrangement between the two Pakistani leaders.
White House press secretary Dana Perino said this, and urged Musharraf to lift the emergency and get back on the path to the Constitution.
Reacting to Bhutto’s demand that Musharraf should to step down as President, Perino said, “Well, obviously, there’s a lot of political tension in Pakistan right now. First and foremost, the most important thing is for the country to return to its democratic path, and that would be starting with lifting the emergency order and allowing those free and fair elections to go forward, and then establishing a democracy where the president of the country is not also the chief of the military.”
Commenting the prevailing political scenario in Pakistan Perino said it was evolving and changing over almost every hour.
“I would describe it as evolving and changing over almost every hour, there seems to be a different development. And, the call by President Musharraf to - that he would have free and fair elections was a positive one because it clarified for the Pakistani people that that would take place,” the Daily Times quoted her, as telling reporters on board Air Force One on its way to Indiana.
“But we remain concerned that the emergency order is still in place, and if confirmed by the Supreme Court to be President, then President Musharraf should be quick to take off his uniform, as he said he would do. We are hopeful that moderate elements can join together to have increased dialogue as they work through this political situation,” she added.
On being asked as to whether Washington considers Musharraf a moderate element, she said that Pakistan has “certainly been on a path to democracy,” with an increase in civil society, press freedoms, and improved — moving towards a market economy.
“The terrorists and extremists that are our enemies are also the enemies of the Pakistani people. Remember, 800 Pakistanis have died at the hands of terrorists just since July. So the situation is very dangerous,” Perino added.
She further said, “We want people to be able to protest peacefully, to be able to have open - an open society where they can speak their mind, and we’re urging them to get back on that track. So I wouldn’t call it a personal issue with President Musharraf. We want everyone to be working together and communicating.” (ANI)

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