Washington, Feb 14: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said the United States was concerned over the potential for violence during the February 18 elections in Pakistan. While presenting her last budget before the Congress, Rice made request for 830 million dollars for Pakistan, which includes 453.2 million dollars of economic support fund and 300 million dollars from the foreign military fund. Rice regretted that for variety of reasons International Republican Institute had to pull out of Pakistan. "But large European Commission monitoring is still on and we will listen to them," said Rice, adding, "There are other NGOs involved as well. And we will listen to them."
Rice said the Bush Administration has also had helped in training of Pakistani local officials to monitor elections and the US Embassy in Pakistan would have "our people out and about in the country." "I believe that Pakistan leadership understands that they have to have election that inspires confidence in the Pakistan people, that it's a step forward towards democracy," the Dawn quoted Rice, as saying. "It is not going to be easy. We all are concerned about the potential for violence. We are concerned about the potential that they are at least pockets where there may be problems with elections," she added
Rice further said that the US is constantly telling Pakistani authorities that the elections have to inspire confidence and encourage people in that country. "Once elections are over, the key is going to be to bring about a government that again can inspire that there are a wide range of moderate voices that have been integrated into it," Rice said.