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Bush applauds Musharraf as he makes himself Pakistan's President till 2012
Monday, December 3, 2007 :US President George W. Bush was the first foreign leader to congratulate General Pervez Mushraraf after he had himself sworn in Thursday to a further five-year term as Pakistan’s president. Musharraf, who seized power in a 1999 military coup, imposed de facto martial law on November 3, because he feared the country’s Supreme Court was about to rule that his “re-election,” in a sham vote staged a month earlier, violated the constitution.
Under the state of emergency, the top levels of the judiciary have been purged of those deemed by the military as unreliable, thousands of opposition political activists, trade unionists and lawyers have been taken into detention, private broadcasters forced off the air, and government opponents made subject to military trials.
According to a Pakistani government spokesman, Bush telephoned Musharraf Friday and in addition to extending his congratulations “lauded the president’s commitment to fight extremism and terrorism.”
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other Bush administration spokesmen have heaped praise on Musharraf for formally stepping down as Chief of Pakistan Armed Services Wednesday and for announcing Thursday, soon after being sworn in as a civilian president, that the state of emergency will be lifted December 16.
These “are all positive steps that will help get Pakistan back on the pathway to democratic and constitutional rule,” declared State Department spokesman Sean McCormack, Thursday.Read More