Election is the only way to strong democracy in Pak: Brown

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London, Dec 31 (UNI) British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has asked Pakistan to avoid ''significant delays to the electoral time table'' saying only a strong democracy can defeat terrorism and promise a peaceful future.

''A strong, representative democracy in Pakistan will defeat terrorism and extremism, show the path to a more stable, prosperous future, and stand as a lasting memorial to the life's work of Benazir Bhutto. We owe it to her memory to strive together to achieve that goal.'' he wrote in Pakistan's Daily Jung newspaper.

In an appeal to Pakistan people for maintaining calm, he said Britain had been ''shocked and saddened by the killing of a woman of immense courage and bravery.'' ''Pakistan's leaders are considering the best way to keep the democratic process on track. It is vital that people remain calm during that time, and express their grief and anger in a peaceful way.'' ''Free, open, democratic societies represent everything the terrorists despise. That popular mandate is, of course, conferred through elections, which must be free and fair if the government that emerges is to have legitimacy,'' he wrote.

It was, however, important that the country's political leaders did not deflect from their pursuit of democracy. ''This was an opportunity for Pakistan's politicians to come together, and to work as one to defeat terrorism through a genuinely free, fair and inclusive democratic process,'' he said.

Mr Brown backed up his message in a telephone call to President Pervez Musharraf. The Prime Minister said it was important to push ahead with the democratic process and avoid significant delays to the electoral timetable.

Britain reportedly offered help for the police investigation into Bhutto's killing amid confusion about the exact cause of her death.


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