View Full Version : Bush Wants Musharraf To Lift Emergency Before Polls

11-13-2007, 09:22 AM
Bush wants Musharraf to lift emergency before polls


Tuesday, 13 November, 2007, 10:08

Washington: US President George W Bush wants General Pervez Musharraf to lift the state of emergency in Pakistan before the planned January elections so that there can be "free and fair" polls, the White House has said.

"President (Bush) thinks that we need to lift the emergency rule in order to have free and fair elections," White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said on Monday.

Musharraf has refused to set a date for lifting of the emergency, prompting opposition leaders like Pakistan Muslim League (N), Jamaat-e-Islami and Tehreek-i-Insaaf to announce that they will boycott the general election if it is held under emergency rule.

Even former premier Benazir Bhutto, who till recently was holding talks with the military ruler for a possible power-sharing arrangement, said on Monday that her party might boycott elections held under emergency.

Perino also said Musharraf should doff his uniform since "the President (Bush) thinks you can't be both President and the chief of the army".

"So the situation is evolving and what the President would like to see is a lifting of the state of emergency and for the country to return to the constitution, and for extra constitutional measures to be halted," she said.

Perino said the situation in Pakistan is "not easy to predict.. what's going to happen or what's going to be said".

"We continue to urge everyone to exercise restraint and non-violence as they work through this crisis," she said.