US wants free and fair polls in Pak next year | india | Hindustan Times
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US wants free and fair polls in Pak next year

india Updated: Sep 15, 2006 18:14 IST

Setting the tone for President Pervez Musharraf's visit next week, the Bush Administration has made it clear that it is keen on the success of the "democracy programme" in Pakistan that includes free and fair elections in 2007.

"President Musharraf did come to power through a coup. He is now committed himself to restoring democracy...

He has pledged to having new elections in 2007 and I guess our effort right now is to try and make sure that that election turns out to be pretty fair, to try to support the development of democracy," Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Richard Boucher said.

Boucher, during an interactive session with students of the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University, asserted that the US will help build democracy wherever it can.

"The United States is going to help build democracy wherever we can do it and help with whatever it has at hand....

We are not set out to impose democracy on everybody and certainly we are not going to invade every undemocratic country. We've never set to say we are going to stop talking to anybody who is not fully democratic," he said.

Boucher said US was keen to see the "success of the commitment" by President Musharraf to have free and fair election next year.

"We are going to keep working with the whole programme, including the part that says it is going to be a free and fair election," the senior State Department official said.