''I am certainly hopeful,'' he said. ''The country had largely rejected politics based on religion.'' Mr Negroponte, however, said, '' We are going to work with whatever government emerges from the process. We are not in the business of recommending specific alignments or specific coalitions.
I think we would, as a general proposition, urge the moderate forces, political forces, to work together.
''Of course Gen(retd) Pervez Musharraf is still the President of his country and we look forward to continuing to work well with him, as well.'' Mr Negroponte said Pakistan had been indispensable in the war on terror, particularly in the fight against al-Qaeda and Taliban-linked extremists along the country's border with Afghanistan.
Slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party (PPP) has emerged as the single largest party in the recent February, 18 elections. Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's Muslim League came second. Musharraf-backed Muslim League failed to make any significant mark.