US condemns attack on Bhutto's motorcade

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Washington, Oct 19 (UNI) The Bush Administration condemned the attack on former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's motorcade in Karachi, saying "extremists will not be allowed to stop Pakistanis from selecting their representatives through an democratic process." U S National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe also said the United States mourned "the loss of innocent life" in Karachi.

State Deputy Spokesman Department's Tom Casey, in a statement, said those responsible for the attack seek only to foster fear and limit freedom.

The U S, however, noted that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and the Government of Pakistan have condemned the attack as well.

The United States stands with the people of Pakistan to eliminate the threat of terrorism, and to build an open, democratic, and peaceful society, Casey said.

Earlier, when asked to comment on the arrival of Bhutto in Pakistan, Casey said, well, first of all, as we've always said, our goal for Pakistan is to see it develop its democracy, to continue its advance towards being a peaceful, modern, moderate Islamic state.

we certainly want to see as part of that process free, fair and transparent elections take place. And those elections should involve all parties that are legitimate forces in the Pakistani political system. Certainly, that would include former Prime Minister Bhutto's party, Casey said.

Replying to a question about future of the Pakistan-U S relationship, Caswey said, we will certainly work with whoever it is that the people of Pakistan choose to be their leadership in this election. We want to see that Pakistan's development continue along this path as a moderate modern Islamic state.


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