WASHINGTON: The United States sees political issues including different parties’ position toward President Pervez Musharraf as internal politics of Pakistan and expects anything happening in respect of impeachment move would be in accordance with the Constitution of the country, said a senior State Department official.
“The political issues in Islamabad—that’s a matter of internal politics in Pakistan, how the leaders deal with each other, how the parties deal with each other, what attitude the different parties and politicians take about President Musharraf. Anything that happens we would expect to be constitutional and according to the rule of law,” Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Richard Boucher said, according to a transcript of his last week’s briefing in Japan released Monday.
The United States, he said, is interested in democratic opportunity and stability in Pakistan and wants to assist the South Asian nation develop institutions to overcome terrorism challenges. “In Pakistan, I think we’re all interested in stability. We’re all interested in the democratic opportunity there. We want to assist Pakistan in trying to develop its society but also develop and form the institutions of government so that they can get a hold of the terrorism problem.”
At the same time, he said in comments on political developments, Washington desires Pakistan deal with serious security and economic issues and added the U.S. thought the focus is best placed on dealing with these issues. “But, as well, we want to see Pakistan deal with problems of safety and security and economics. And that’s where I think a lot of our focus has to remain as the situation evolves.”
He said the U.S. will watch the developments “very closely,” and expressed the hope that that the country’s focus on these issues would not be distracted by political issues. Boucher cited U.S. cooperation with Pakistan on issues including food security, terrorism, energy and economy and said the two countries discussed bilateral cooperation during Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s visit to Washington last month. “We’ve tried to help Pakistan deal with those issues. During the prime minister’s visit, we talked a lot about cooperation against terrorism. We were able to announce $115 million of food and agricultural assistance. So we’re trying to help Pakistan with some of the serious problems.” -SANA