US welcomes Musharraf's pledge to hold elections

Updated: 2007-11-12 15:47

WASHINGTON - US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Sunday that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's pledge to hold elections and quit as the army chief is a "positive element."

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [File photo] 

"My reaction is that the positive element here, that the elections are going to be held very soon, and also that the president said he was going to take off his uniform, these have both been essential to getting Pakistan back on a democratic path, " Rice said in an interview with the ABC television.

"Obviously, we are also encouraging that the state of emergency has got to be lifted, and lifted as soon as possible," Rice said.

Earlier Sunday, Musharraf said in Islamabad that general elections including the national assembly and the provincial assemblies would be held simultaneously before January 9.

However, Musharraf refused to give a date as when to lift the state of emergency imposed on November 3.

Related Stories: Musharraf: General elections to be held by Jan 9

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