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Bush calls up Pakistan PM, assures support
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August 22, 2008 02:08 IST

President George W Bush [Images] on Friday assured Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani [Images] of the US administration's continued support for the democratic government in Pakistan in the wake of former President Pervez Musharraf's resignation.

During a telephone call to Gilani, Bush inquired about the upcoming presidential election to choose Musharraf's successor. Bush also asked Gilani as to when the government was bringing about a balance between the Presidency and Parliament.

Gilani said it is the sole prerogative of Pakistan's Election Commission to decide the date of the presidential election. He also said his government is working on the agenda for ensuring a balance between the Presidency and parliament and the target will be achieved within three months.

Bush told Gilani that both governments have strong ties and assured the Prime Minister that his administration will continue supporting the democratic government of Pakistan.

Gilani thanked Bush for his continuous support for strengthening democracy in Pakistan and said the people and government are grateful for the promotion of democratic norms by the US administration, said a press release.

Musharraf resigned on Monday to avoid impeachment by the Pakistan People's Party-led ruling coalition. An election to choose his successor is expected to be held by mid-September.

Bush also called Musharraf to wish him well and thanked him for his efforts in Pakistan's transition to democracy. Bush also thanked him for his help in the war against terror.

During his conversation with Gilani, Bush expressed his pleasure at his meeting the Prime Minister on the sidelines of the Beijing [Images] Olympics [Images]. Bush also said he was grateful to Gilani for introducing slain former premier Benazir Bhutto's [Images] children to him.

Gilani told Bush that the children too were delighted to meet the President and had conveyed the same feeling to their father, PPP chief Asif Ali Zardari.

Bush also expressed sorrow and concern over the loss of lives in Thursday's suicide attack within Wah cantonment near Islamabad [Images].

Gilani thanked Bush for the delivery of F-16s to Pakistan and release of 116 million dollars to finance the mid-lifeupgrade of Pakistan's ageing fleet of F-16 fighters.

Gilani also thanked Bush for authorising the delivery of 20 P-37 trainer jets to Pakistan.

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