Saturday, November 3, 2007

US State Department Calls Pakistan's Emergency Declaration a Setback

The United States says it is "deeply disturbed" by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's emergency declaration, describing it as a setback for Pakistani democracy.

A State Department spokesman in Washington Saturday said the United States expects Mr. Musharraf to uphold his commitments to holding elections and stepping down as army chief before taking the presidential oath of office on January 15. The spokesman said the United States stands with the people of Pakistan in supporting a democratic process and in countering violent extremism.

Britain expressed "grave concern" at General Musharraf's actions, and urged him to act within the constitution. British Foreign Secretary David Milibrand said that although Britain recognizes the threat to peace and security in Pakistan, stability can only be achieved through democracy and the rule of law.

An Indian Foreign ministry spokesman expressed regret for Pakistan's "difficult times," adding that India hopes normal conditions will soon be restored in the country.

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