CHICAGO, IL– Barack Obama today released the following statement in response to President Bush’s failure to condemn Pakistan President Musharraf’s declaration of a state of emergency.
"President Bush's statement yesterday that General Pervez Musharraf "has not crossed a line" in declaring a state of emergency and throwing thousands of democratic activists in prison is bad for the United States and bad for Pakistan. The United States should not support authoritarian action - we should support the democratic aspirations of the Pakistani people. That is why I have proposed making some of our aid to Pakistan conditional on President Musharraf reversing his state of emergency and holding elections that are free and fair.
"Pakistanis a critical ally. But by giving President Musharraf a blank check, President Bush is alienating the very people in Pakistan who are most likely to share our values, and undercutting his own support for democracy abroad. Meanwhile, al Qaeda continues to maintain its safe-haven in northwest Pakistan.We need to support a legitimate, democratic government in Pakistan that will work with us against the common enemies that we share."To read the ABC News interview with President Bush, click here: http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=3891196