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Mush resignation will not lead to power vacuum in Pak: Rice

world Updated: Aug 19, 2008 11:47 IST
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Displaying faith in the democratically elected government of Pakistan, the US has rejected suggestions that the ouster of former President and key US ally Pervez Musharraf will a lead to a power vacuum in the country.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said the situation in Pakistan is "fragile", but the government is democratically elected and will continue to receive US assistance.

"... Obviously, it's a fragile situation in Pakistan because it's a new civilian government for the first time in a long time in Pakistan, since 1999, but it is an elected government. I think it has fabulous support. And that's a lot to build on," Rice said.

The top administration official was asked if the power vacuum following Musharraf's resignation means a slow descent into chaos in Pakistan and if Washington is concerned about it.

Asked if she believed there was no "real" leadership in Pakistan at the moment, Rice said, "I don't subscribe to the notion that there's no leadership in Pakistan. There's a democratically elected prime minister. There's a government that came into being as a coalition and it's had its difficulties internally".

Praising Pervez Musharraf's nine-year term as President of the country, Rice said he marked a shift from extremism for Pakistan and helped in the nation's transition to democracy.

"President Musharraf took his country a long way, turning it back from the extremism that was starting to characterize it - at the time of 2001. He also kept his promise to try and help transition to free and fair elections," she added.