US envoy urges Pakistan to set election schedule

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Islamabad, Nov 6: The US ambassador to Pakistan urged the election commissioner today to set a schedule for a general election to dispel doubts arising from the imposition of emergency rule by President Pervez Musharraf.

Ambassador Anne W Patterson said in a statement she met the commissioner ''to reiterate the strong US interest in ensuring parliamentary elections take place as planned in January''.

US President George W. Bush, who values General Musharraf as an ally in his battle against al Qaeda and the Taliban, urged Pakistan's military ruler on Monday to lift the emergency he had imposed on Saturday, hold elections and quit as army chief.

The United States has already put financial support for Pakistan under review and postponed defence cooperations talks with its nuclear-armed ally that had been set for this week.

The United States has provided more than 26 million dollar for voter education, political party development, computerization of voting rolls, training of political poll watchers and domestic and international election observation missions.

Pakistan has received an estimated 10 billion dollar from the United States since joining an alliance against global terrorism in late 2001, much of which has been for the military.


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