US urges Musharraf, Benazir to work together

November 14th, 2007 - 2:30 am ICT by admin  
“We would like to see them work together to try and deal with the very challenging issues that their country faces,” The Dawn quoted Negroponte, as saying.

“We would like to encourage moderate political forces and we consider, we think that Musharraf is a moderate political element, and so is Bhutto,” he added.

Negroponte told the Public Broadcasting Service that this was “a very critical time in Pakistani politics” and Washington was encouraging moderate political forces in that country to work together, the daily reported.

Pakistan has been an “absolutely critical country in the war on terror and an indispensable partner,” Negroponte said.

Meanwhile, the US expressed its happiness over Benazir’s return to Pakistan.

“We certainly look forward to seeing the election process move forward and see and certainly encourage all those who share the vision that we have and that Musharraf and others have for Pakistan’s future to participate and participate actively,” US State Department Deputy Spokesman Tom Casey said at a briefing.

The US desires to see Pakistan “develop its democracy, to continue its advance towards being a peaceful, modern, moderate Islamic state, and we certainly want to see as part of that process free, fair and transparent elections take place, The News quoted Casey, as saying.

Commenting on the US-Pakistan relations, he said these are wide-ranging and not confined to fighting terrorism, but also include economic development cooperation as in the FATA.

According to the US media reports, the Bush administration played a key role in arranging a crucial meeting between the two Pakistani leaders in Abu Dhabi in July this year and has engaged with them since then.

But this is the first time that senior US officials have publicly acknowledged Washington’s desire to bring the two Pakistani leaders close, The News reported.(ANI)

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