US daily urges Washington support for Pakistan's democratic consolidation

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Washington, Mar 17 : Pakistan was on the verge of taking a major step towards democracy and the US must support the democratic development in the country, a leading US English daily has said.

On the eve of the first meeting of the newly constituted National Assembly in Pakistan, the Washington Post said in an editorial that a strong democracy offers the best long-term answer to the Taliban and al-Qaeda attacks against the country.

"The potential breakthrough comes in the agreement of the two largest political parties, the Pakistan People's Party and the Pakistan Muslim League, to form a coalition government that will hold a commanding majority in the Parliament," said the editorial.

It noted that the PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif had agreed to implement a Charter for Democracy (CoD) that the assassinated PPP leader Bhutto and Sharif hammered out in 2006, while they were living in exile.

They plan to reform the Constitution and restore members of superior judiciary, the editorial said, and added: "Pakistan could have the most liberal and open political system in its history with free media and independent judiciary."

It further said that restoration of democracy would be the long-term solution to the assault on the country by the Taliban, al-Qaeda and fanatics, who carried out 16 suicide bombings and killed more than 500 people this year.

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