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US rejects Musharraf's arguments for imposing emergency

The US has said it does not agree with President Pervez Musharraf's assertion that imposition of emergency in Pakistan was necessary.

world Updated: Nov 15, 2007 15:28 IST

The US has said it does not agree with President Pervez Musharraf's assertion that imposition of emergency in Pakistan was necessary, and will keep "counseling" him to restore the constitution so that elections can be held in a free and fair manner.

Musharraf had said that emergency was imposed to "ensure elections go in an undisturbed manner".

"I know President Musharraf has talked about the fact that he thought it was important to have a state of emergency in order to have free and fair elections. Our view is different than that. We think it's... Hard to imagine having a free and fair election (under emergency)," State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack said.

The Spokesman also rejected Musharraf's claims that emergency rule enables him to deal with suicide bombers and terrorists more easily.

"... Whether or not there's a state of emergency, Pakistan has faced a threat from violent extremism. It's the same group of violent extremists that pose a threat to us, as well as Pakistan's neighbours. So that is something that is ongoing," McCormack said.

When asked why the US should expect Musharraf to be more cooperative when Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte visits Pakistan this week after he virtually rebuffed calls from President George W Bush and Secretary of State Condolleezza Rice, McCormack admitted that the General was "not answering to the United States".