'Musharraf must fulfill commitments in elections'
The Bush administration has said that it hopes Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf will fulfill his "commitments" with respect to the upcoming elections in the country, while maintaining that the General has led the country on the pathway of "increased democracy."
"He (Musharraf) has made certain commitments with respect to the presidential elections that are going to be coming up at the end of the year, but certainly we would hope that he abides by those commitments," US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said on Thursday.
While hailing the accomplishments of General Musharraf, including the steps he has taken to reduce tensions with India, McCormack admitted that "more" work needs to be done.
The spokesman said Musharraf has led Pakistan "on a pathway of increased democracy, economic-political reform.Those areas in Pakistan where perhaps they had been lacking in the past in terms of human rights, freedom of expression and in other areas."
"He's accomplished a lot, but there's a lot more left to do. And in that task, certainly we stand with President Musharraf and we encourage him in his efforts," he said.
"It has over the years been a source of instability, if you look going down from Afghanistan to Pakistan and the tensions between Pakistan and India back in 2001. Those tensions were evident when they teetered on the brink of open conflict," he added.
The Spokesman parried a question on being asked whether the United States believed General Musharraf could "hang on" to his presidency for five more years."There is a set of presidential elections at the end of the year and that one that is going to determine who's going to lead Pakistan as president for the next five years, I guess. So I'm not going to try to predict the outcome of those elections," McCormack said.