'Imposing emergency Musharraf's major mistake'

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Washington, Jun 23: "Imposing emergency on November 3, 2007, was one of the major mistakes of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf", said US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. But Washington worked with him and credited him for bringing civilian rule back in the country. She said this in an interview with CNN TV. She said that an independent judiciary was important for the development of democracy in Pakistan, and that it would be in the best interests of Pakistan if its people themselves worked out the issue (of judiciary).

"An independent judiciary is critical to democracy. There are some issues because this one is highly politically charged in Pakistan. We have always believed that after the elections the issue of judiciary will be worked out in course between Pakistanis and it is best that this be worked out between Pakistanis," added Rice.

Asked whether Musharraf should resign, Rice said this was a matter to be dealt by Pakistan itself. "This is clearly a Pakistani matter, he is the president of Pakistan and we will treat him as the president of Pakistan."

The Secretary said that threats by Afghanistan to pursue Taliban insurgents across the border into Pakistan were "not wise". She called for co-operation between the two nations after Afghan President Hamid Karzai angered Pakistan when he threatened cross-border action as a right of "self-defence" against Taliban forces.

"I think it's probably not wise to talk about Afghan cross-border operations," Rice said.

ANI

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