Sen Obama Statement on State of Emergency in Pakistan

CHICAGO , IL --Obama for America today released to the following statement on the state of emergency declared by President Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan this weekend.

“Senator Obama condemns the decision by President Musharraf to invoke a state of emergency. President Musharraf has broken his pledge to his own people and to the world to move toward democracy. Pakistan is a critical ally of the United States against terrorism, a nuclear weapons state, and an important nation in South Asia and within the broader Muslim world. It is in the interests of the Pakistani people and the United States to see our ally move toward democracy, as more authoritarian government will only mean more instability, more discontent, and more extremism in Pakistan.

“The United States must be clear and unequivocal: President Musharraf should reverse this declaration, respect the decision of the Supreme Court, and hold free and fair elections for parliament in January. At the same time, the United States must move beyond the Administration's failed policies of promoting stability over democracy, which has undercut our efforts to root out terrorists in Pakistan. We must start with a serious review of our investments in Pakistan to make sure that U.S. assistance is supporting democracy, not repression; and to ensure that concrete action is being taken against terrorism in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, so that al Qaeda terrorists who threaten America do not continue to have a safe-haven,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton.