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'Pak would not take dictation from US'

Rice has no right to interfere with Pakistan's political system, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Tariq Azeem said.

india Updated: Jun 28, 2006 21:12 IST

Hours after US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that the international community wants to ensure that next year's general elections in Pakistan should be "free and fair," a Minister on Wednesday said the country would not accept any "dictation" from Washington.

Rice has no right to interfere with Pakistan's political system, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Tariq Azeem said.

"The US Secretary of State should not have offered comments about Pakistan's elections as it is our internal matter. The Government will not accept dictation from any quarter in its internal affairs and will continue to work for a stable democracy according to national requirements", he said.

He said the government will take all possible measures to ensure fair, free and transparent general elections next year.

"Democracy is working well in the country and we need no certificate for it from any country, including the US," he said.

Rice, who held talks with President Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday night, told reporters that the US expected elections in Pakistan next year to be free and fair and the international community would keenly watch all aspects of poll process, including free access to media and freedom for contestants to "assemble and campaign."