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US only advising Pakistan, not making decisions

05 January, 2008

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WASHINGTON:Noting that the US is providing only advice, the Bush administration has said that decisions concerning security, investigations and elections in Pakistan have to be made by "people most affected by it".

"Ultimately, decisions about security are going to be have to be made by the individual most affected by it and the people around them. They are going to make their own decisions," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

"Occasionally, if asked, we provide our best advice. But it is not for us to make decisions for individuals who are foreign government officials or former government officials."

"As for the probe that is on-going, President Musharraf has asked for outside technical assistance. That’s a wise course that’s he’s taken in the best interest of Pakistan and the Pakistani people," he said.

The comments came in the wake of Musharraf seeking the aid of UK’s Scotland Yard in the probe in to the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto even as her Pakistan People’s Party is demanding a UN inquiry.

"We’ll see how that investigation plays out. I’m not going to try to jump in and handicap what the results of the investigation may be. I think from our perspective, for our purposes it’s best to let the investigation unfold and see what it brings," he said.

"... We all mourn the passing of Benazir Bhutto. Now it’s important to try to determine what happened, so that that chapter of Pakistan’s history can be closed and that the Pakistani people can move to build on what had been some progress, in terms of building momentum for political reform in Pakistan," the senior State Department official said.

End.

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