WASHINGTON -- U.S. President George Bush, in his first remarks on Pakistan’s emergency rule, urged Gen. Pervez Musharraf to hold polls soon and give up his army chief post.
Bush’s comments Monday came two days after President Musharraf put the country under emergency rule and suspended the constitution.
The Washington Post reported the Bush response, saying it pointed to the administration’s difficult task of balancing the need to promote democracy in the Muslim world with that of continuing to support the Musharraf regime in the fight against terrorism.
The U.S. president was quoted as saying Musharraf's actions “would undermine democracy” but also added the Pakistani general “has been a strong fighter against extremists and radicals.” He spoke in the Oval Office after meeting the prime minister of Turkey, the Post reported.
Bush did not comment on what would happen to U.S. aid to Pakistan, which now stand at more than $10 billion since 2001.
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