Bush waives law to help Pakistan

Islamabad set to receive an estimated $300m as security assistance this year.

    The US exemption to funding came as Musharraf, left, swore in Gilani as prime minister [AFP]
    Strategic role
    Gordon Johndroe, a White House spokesman, said the Bush administration was concerned about the human rights situation in Pakistan but said it had a strategic role to play.


    "The Pakistani government is conducting military, police, and intelligence operations to fight terrorist groups on Pakistani soil and bring terrorists to justice," Johndroe said.

    The White House announcement came as Musharraf swore in Yousuf  Raza Gilani, Pakistan’s new prime minister.

    Gilani, a key aide of assassinated political leader Benazir Bhutto, was selected by parliament on Monday.

    He is a member of a coalition that won the general elections last month and which has indicated it will review Musharraf’s co-operation with Washington.

    Johndroe said the US has "concerns about respect for fundamental civil and political rights in Pakistan," referring to a state of emergency imposed in November and the suspension of the country’s constitution.

    But he said Musharraf had "kept his commitments" to step down as Pakistan’s military chief and be sworn in as a civilian president, as well as to lift the state of emergency.

    He also said that multi-party elections had been held.

    "We are currently assessing the impact of those elections on future requirements for waivers of coup-related sanctions," Johndroe said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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