Thursday, February 21, 2008

Exclusive: U.S. urges Pakistanis to keep Musharraf, despite election defeat
Jonathan S. Landay and Warren P. Strobel | McClatchy Newspapers

last updated: February 20, 2008 07:24:01 PM

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan _The Bush administration is pressing the opposition leaders who defeated Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to allow the former general to retain his position, a move that Western diplomats and U.S. officials say could trigger the very turmoil the United States seeks to avoid.

U.S. officials, from President Bush on down, said this week that they think Musharraf, a longtime U.S. ally, should continue to play a role, despite his party's rout in parliamentary elections Monday and his unpopularity in the volatile, nuclear-armed nation.

The U.S. is urging the Pakistani political leaders who won the elections to form a new government quickly and not press to reinstate the judges whom Musharraf ousted last year, Western diplomats and U.S. officials said Wednesday. If reinstated, the jurists likely would try to remove Musharraf from office.

Bush's policy of hanging on to Musharraf has caused friction between the White House and the State Department, with some career diplomats and other specialists arguing that the administration is trying to buck the political tides in Pakistan, U.S. officials said...[Open in new window]
Bush puts the 'mock' in Democracy.


Post a Comment

<< Home