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Bush Admin Allows Emergency To Stay In Pakistan

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It seems that General Pervez Musharraf has succeeded in winning some more time for himself to remain the president of Pakistan. The main reason, President Musharraf has been describing as justification for imposition of emergency, is the war on terror. The rulers have been deliberately prolonging the war on terror as this is the only way of grabbing the resources and power.

The US must tell Musharraf to finish this game being played in the name of war on terror. This war has been affecting innocent people. They are being killed without committing any crime. Real terrorists should be brought to the court.

According to report from Islamabad, President General Pervez Musharraf on Saturday told US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte that the emergency would not be lifted unless its objectives were achieved, which include improvement in the law and order situation.

Negroponte met with Gen Musharraf and reiterated President Bush’s message of lifting the emergency and doffing the uniform, but failed to get a timeline for when Gen Musharraf might lift the emergency. According to sources, Musharraf cited the worsening law and order in the country and the lack of cooperation between state institutions as the reasons for the imposition of emergency. They said the two leaders also discussed the issues of free and fair elections, cooperation in the war on terror, operations against militants in Swat, the arrests of political and civil society representatives and curbs on media during the meeting.

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Primary focus: They said the state of emergency and the removal of Musharraf’s uniform remained the primary focus of the discussion with Musharraf saying he would try to end the emergency as soon as possible.

Musharraf also dispelled the impression that the state of emergency had diverted his attention from the war on terror. He said Pak-US cooperation in the war on terror would not be affected by the present political situation. Negroponte welcomed the announcement of early elections, but called for the release of all political and civil society representatives. He asked Musharraf to take all political parties into confidence to ensure free and fair elections.

Political detainees’ release: Musharraf told Negroponte that all political leaders were being released and every party would be free to contest the elections. He said he would remove the uniform after a Supreme Court ruling on his re-election as president.

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Musharraf said the process for a smooth transition to democracy had started with the setting up of a caretaker government. Caretaker Foreign Minister Inamul Haq and US Ambassador Anne Patterson were also present at the meeting.

Cooperation: Separately, Negroponte met Vice Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani at the GHQ and discussed issues of mutual interest, including military cooperation and the situation in Swat. The US official assured Kayani that defence and military aid to Pakistan would not be cut off.

Meanwhile, the US embassy has reported that Negroponte has extended his stay in Pakistan from two to three days.

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Muhammad Khurshid, a resident of Bajaur Agency, tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border is journalist by profession. He contributes articles and news stories to various online and print newspapers. His subject matter is terrorism. He is also (more...)
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