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Musharraf asked to hold elections and shed uniform

George W Bush tells Pervez Musharraf that "he cannot be President and the head of the military at the same time".

world Updated: Nov 08, 2007 13:03 IST

US President George W Bush has asked Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf to hold the general elections as scheduled and also to shed his uniform, as "he cannot be the president and the head of the military at the same time".

"I spoke to President Musharraf right before I came over here to visit President Sarkozy. And my message was that we believe strongly in elections and you ought to have elections as scheduled, and you need to take off your uniform," Bush said during a joint press conference with French President Nicolas Sarkozy at Mount Vernon on Wednesday.

"You can't be the president and the head of the military at the same time," Bush said to Musharraf over telephone.

Playing down the notion that double standards were being adopted in the approach towards Pakistan as compared to Myanmar, he said "our objective is same in Burma as it is in Pakistan, and that is to promote democracy. There is a difference, however."

Pakistan has been on the path to democracy. Burma hadn't been on the path to democracy. And it requires different tactics to achieve the common objective, he said.

French President Sarkozy while expressing his concern over the situation in Pakistan, said, "it's worrisome, and we need to have elections as swiftly as possible. You cannot combat extremism using the same methods as extremists."

"And it is very important that Pakistan organise elections and, like President Bush, I wish this to take place as speedily as possible," he said.

First Published: Nov 08, 2007 09:42 IST