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- Thursday, January 17, 2013 - From Print Edition


ISLAMABAD: The United Kingdom Wednesday came out with strong support for democracy in Pakistan.


In the midst of political turmoil inside Pakistan and skirmishes on the Line of Control (LoC) on its eastern borders, and speculation of extra constitutional forces lurking in the shadows, London’s support for a strong democratic order in Pakistan is a shot in the arm for democratic forces.


A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson in a statement reiterated strong support for democracy in Pakistan following what it said the ‘recent events’.


“The UK strongly supports democracy in Pakistan. Representative, accountable government that delivers for the people, and is chosen according to constitutional processes, is in the best interests of Pakistan. We believe elections should be held on time and managed by the independent Election Commission under the auspices of a constitutionally-appointed and impartial caretaker government that lasts its proper term and no longer”, said the statement.


Earlier, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Senior Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, after a meeting with Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar in New York said that Pakistan stands at an important crossroad where it has a huge opportunity when a democratically elected government had the opportunity to pass on power to another democratically elected government.


She said Britain had an interest in seeing a successful Pakistan. “But if every time democracy does not appear to be working perfectly and you start looking for alternatives, and to start looking to dissolve the process, then democracy will never mature. And if you see the constitutional reforms (in Pakistan), the strength of the media, the appointment of an independent election commission, then this is a moment of maturity with the democratic process and the people of Pakistan must not allow this moment to slip away”, Warsi said.


In Washington spokesperson at State Department said that the US was not taking a position on Maulana Tahirul Qadri’s long march or on political issues associated with it.


“We are not in a position to evaluate the charges one way or the other. If we do we will let you know”, she added. “We are obviously not taking a position with regard to the march and on all of those various political issues that marchers are out in the streets for”.