US must take strong position on emergency in Pak: Lisa Curtis

November 14th, 2007 - 8:37 am ICT by admin  
Curtis, who is associated with the Heritage Foundation, also called for holding of an early general election in the country.

Anger at the US has eroded popular support for countering extremists; damaging US objectives in the war on terrorism, the Daily Times quoted her, saying.

Curtis called for the installation of a caretaker government in Pakistan, as it would be the best suited at this critical juncture.

She also supported the view that key politicians should be allowed to lead their parties in the general election.

The election rules and guidelines would have to be established by a neutral caretaker government in consultation with all major parties. A credible election, she said, would be a major blow to extremists.

Curtis opined that in any new political dispensation in Pakistan, the military will maintain a strong decision-making role, especially regarding security matters, and will continue to be responsible for keeping the country’s nuclear assets safe and secure, and out of the hands of terrorists.

Terming Musharraf as an important ally for the United States in the war on terrorism, Curtis said his steps toward increasing authoritarianism have put him at odds with moderate political forces in the country, and have thereby strengthened the hands extremists.

She went on to say that Washington must consider carefully how to leverage its influence with Pakistani leaders to encourage this pivotal country to transition to civilian-led government, while maintaining a military capable of focusing on confronting anti-state forces. (ANI)

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