ISLAMABAD: The United States termed the Supreme Court ruling allowing President Pervez Musharraf to contest in uniform as an internal matter of Pakistan. “This is the internal matter of the country for politicians and courts to decide,” US Assistant Secretary of South Asian and Central Asian Affairs Richard Boucher said when asked about Musharraf being allowed to seek re-election to the post of President while remaining as army chief.
He said that the United States wanted a smooth and successful transition to democratic civilian government in Pakistan. “The United States is interested that the process of transition to democratic civilian government should proceed smoothly and successfully,” he told reporters. Boucher also rejected suggestions that formation of a civilian government in Pakistan could adversely affect the country’s fight against terrorism. Stating that he has no plans to visit Pakistan before the presidential election on October six, Boucher noted that a lot of questions have been raised in different fora, either politically or in court, about how to proceed to establishing a democratic rule and added “we are watching it.”
He said that Washington’s desire is to see Pakistan succeed as a modern society. “Part of that success is making a successful and smooth transition to democratic and civilian government.”Asked whether the US believes a president without uniform would be more capable to continue war on terrorism and cooperation with it, Boucher said he appreciates what the Pakistani leaders have done over the last seven years since the 9/11 attacks but a lot of people in the country think that it is time for transition.
It is time, Boucher said, to put politics on a more solid footing, “a footing of modernization, a footing of democracy, a footing of moderation.”Replying to a question, the US official said he does not agree with the premise that the fight against terrorism could be adversely affected if a civilian government takes over.”Nobody in Pakistan wants terrorism. People in Pakistan that I’ve talked to from all the parties see Al- Qaeda, see the radicalization, the Talibanization as threat to their goals to build a modern society, their goals to build a modern economy, their goals to build a modern education system,” he added. “It’s not just the army that’s committed to fighting to terrorism. It’s not just the politicians. It’s really the vast majority of the whole society…. They understand that in order to modernize Pakistan, the need to deal with the threats of extremism to the whole society.”-SANA