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Not considering asylum for Musharraf: US
Sridhar Krishnaswami in Washington | August 17, 2008 21:13 IST
The United States on Sunday said that it was not considering granting asylum to 'good ally' President Pervez Musharraf [Images], who is facing an impeachment move, to help resolve the political crisis in Pakistan.
"This is an issue that is not on the table," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [Images] said, refusing to take sides in the standoff and insisting that Washington had a 'broad' Pakistan policy.
The top Bush administration official was asked if the US is considering giving asylum to Musharraf as a way to help settle the crisis stemming from the Pakistan People's Party-led coalition government's move to impeach him.
Rice underscored that Musharraf was a good ally but at the same time pointed that the Bush administration has been supportive of the democratic government and was more focused on the war on terror.
"President Musharraf has been a good ally and everyone knows that we disagreed with his decision in terms of the state of emergency that he declared. But he was just to his word, he took off his uniform. It is now a democratic government in Pakistan," she said.
"I want to keep our focus on what we must do with the democratic government of Pakistan," she said while answering a question on the political crisis in Pakistan.
" ... We have been supportive of their new democratic government as witnessed by the President's meetings with Prime Minister Gilani. So this is a matter for Pakistan to determine," she said.
Pakistan and the United States, Rice added, have a joint interest in fighting terror "because these terrorists are not just after the United States and after Afghanistan. They are also after Pakistan as demonstrated by the fact that they killed Mrs Bhutto."
"That is what we are concentrating on, and helping Pakistan to sustain its economy, to build its schools, its health. We have a broad Pakistan policy," Rice said.
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