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Bush reaffirms support for Musharraf as Pakistani dictator intensifies military repression
Monday, November 12, 2007 :President George Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reaffirmed US support for Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf over the weekend, even as the general stepped up the mass repression he launched with the imposition of de facto martial law on November 3. At a Sunday morning press conference, Musharraf announced that elections would be held in early January, but indicated that emergency rule and the suspension of the Pakistani constitution would continue indefinitely, likely through the election period itself.
Bush, Rice and other US officials have hailed Musharraf’s plan to hold sham elections while political dissent is banned, independent newspapers are suppressed and thousands of political opponents remain in prison a “welcome” step toward democracy.
Speaking to the press at his Texas ranch following a meeting Saturday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Bush insisted that the US and Musharraf “share a common goal” in opposing Al Qaeda. Repeating the standard justification for every aspect of US foreign policy, Bush said that support for the Pakistani military ruler was a necessary response to September 11.
Bush called Musharraf’s pledge to hold elections and remove his military uniform (while remaining president) sometime in the future “positive steps.” While reiterating his pro-forma calls for Pakistan to “get back on the path to democracy,” Bush made clear that the US would support Musharraf regardless.Read More