Islamabad, Nov 14: The proclamation of an emergency in Pakistan by President General Pervez Musharraf is a serious setback to democracy in that country, US Ambassador Anne W Patterson has said. “Pakistan"s move toward democracy has been seriously set back by the events of November 3," Patterson said while speaking on the US-Pakistan relationship at National Defence University here.
She said that Washington has urged the Musharraf Government not to throw away in weeks what it took years to achieve.
“One of the greatest achievements of Musharraf was the flowering of a free and vibrant media. There is no way to put this genie back in the bottle by cutting off the media now," she said.
Commenting on the economic growth of Pakistan, Patterson said, that the country"s seven percent annual economic growth had been one of the greatest accomplishments of the Musharraf Administration.
“But the November 3 imposition of a state of emergency has put this economic growth of Pakistan and upward mobility at risk," she added.
“Our embassy and our consulates have tried to make sure that American business representatives know that Pakistan is a good place to do business, and I have always highlighted the enormous economic opportunities which your country offers," Patterson said.
She said Pakistan-US relations encompassed a broad range of shared interests that went beyond security and rejected the impression that America was an undependable ally of Pakistan, the Daily Times reported.
Pakistan"s fight against terrorism was also the world"s fight against terrorism, said Patterson, and expressed astonishment at claims that “Pakistan is fighting America"s war".
She said Pakistan must tackle the extremists and militants operating within its borders to continue its economic progress and protect the right of its people to choose how they live their lives.