Future of Pakistan depends on free and fair elections: Brown

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New Delhi, Jan 21 (UNI) British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has asserted that the future of Pakistan depends on how the country manages to conduct free and fair elections.

''The real test is going to be whether the elections are seen by the international community as free and fair,'' he said in an interview with Times Now, excerpts of which were released by the channel in a press release.

Mr Brown expressed the hope that the monitoring process yields a result in which the international community has confidence. ''Let us hope that happens.'' The British Prime Minister said he had made it clear to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on several occasions to ensure that the elections in his country were held soon.

''The future of Pakistan in the eyes of the world depends on how they can manage free and fair elections. And that is why I have made it clear to Musharraf in the conversations that we have had,'' said Mr Brown who is currently on a three- day state visit to India.

Mr Brown had recently expressed concern at nuclear weapons falling in the hands of ''non state actors''.

Seeking to give a clean chit to Pakistan in the nuclear proliferation issue, he said: ''I didn't mention Pakistan.

I mentioned Iran because we have been worries as an international community that Iran is defying non proliferation treaty.'' ''This is clearly an important part of safeguarding our future.

Proliferation has clearly happened and Iran has no noticeable civil nuclear programme and is engaged in trying to get nuclear elements so that at some stage they can have military nuclear power.'' MORE UNI AG SYU RN2120

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