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Election In Pakistan Held: What Next?

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No one can deny the importance of Pakistan in the war against terrorism. Presently, the terrorists have been targetting Pakistan, but its leaders have been fighting to gain power.  The election has been held in which the Pakistan People's Party of Benazir Bhutto, who was murdered in Rawalpindi has gained majority in the National Assembly and Sindh Assembly. Pakistan Muslim League of Nawaz Sharif has emerged the second largest party. It is not yet clear as to what the role will be of President Pervez Musharraf. There is lot of confusion among the political leaders and the masses.

Media reports said that US senators Joe Biden, John Kerry and Chuck Hagel paid tribute to the Pakistani electorate for conducting a 'historic' transition of power. The American senators were in Pakistan as part of a US delegation, that monitered the election process and conducted checks on any voting irregularities.

The American senators were unanimous in their praise for the manner in which the polls were conducted. Although they did point out that it was not a perfect election, and was marred by sporadic incidents of violence.

With regards to US-Pakistan relations they stated that it was in the interests of the United states that there be a stable and democratic Pakistan, in which the people can address their grievances through the ballot box and shun militancy and the forces of extremism.

Senator Biden said that the US should look beyond a one-person policy, and instead should focus on a Pakistan policy, where the wishes of the Pakistani people were respected and taken into consideraton.

Senator Kerry stated that they had met with President Musharraf, who had given them his assurance that he would work with the new parliament and conduct with them in a conciliatory manner and not one of confrontation. They also stated that they had met with Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari, and urged them not to dwell upon the past but to look towards the future, in the interest of the country.

Kerry said that this was a historical moment for the country. He added that it was important that democracy set firm roots in the country. Senator Chuck Hagel added that although the election process went smoothly, challenges still remain. Hagel stated that South Asia was a vital part of the world's political map, and that stability in Pakistan was not just in America's interest, but also in the interests of its neighbours and the world at large.

When addressing the war on terror, Senator Biden stated that US aid to Pakistan would continue, and would be directed more towards economic development, building up infrastructure and education reforms. He said that combating extremism required not just military power but also soft power, and it was to this end that the US would work with the Pakistani people.
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Muhammad Khurshid, a resident of Bajaur District, 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 (more...)

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