US for peaceful transfer of power in Pak: Negroponte

Islamabad, Sep 14: The United States wants free and fair elections in Pakistan, and a peaceful transfer of power to strengthen democracy in the country, US Deputy Secretary of State, John D Negroponte, has said.

Negroponte briefed Musharraf about progress in the Pakistan-US Strategic Dialogue, Geo TV quoted sources in the presidential camp, as saying.

Musharraf told Negroponte that Pakistan’s commitment to the war on terrorism was beyond doubt, as the fight was in the country’s interest.

He reaffirmed Pakistan’s resolve to fight extremism and terrorism and highlighted the efforts it is making to address these challenges.

Musharraf said "negative provisions" of the US 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act that affected relations between the two countries must be addressed.

Musharraf emphasised the need for better understanding of Pakistani counter-terrorism efforts in the US, particularly by the media.

Negroponte said that the US fully recognised Pakistan’s strong resolve to fight extremism and terrorism and appreciated its counter-terrorism efforts.

He noted that the US had committed 750 million dollars for the FATA Development Plan over the next five years, and the Bush Administration is moving forward on the draft ROZs legislation and mobilising assistance for the Frontier Constabulary.

Negroponte also called on Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, who told him that Pakistan accorded high priority to expanding its strategic relations with the US.

Aziz said that elections in Pakistan would be free, fair and transparent and foreign observers’ would be welcome to monitor them. (With Inputs from ANI)