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Republican presidential hopeful McCain defends Pakistan's president following Bhutto killing

Republican presidential hopeful McCain defends Pakistan's president following Bhutto killing

Republican presidential hopeful John McCain defended Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf on Friday against criticism in the wake of Benazir Bhutto's assassination.
Speaking to about 50 people packed into a cafe in Iowa, McCain said U.S. politicians should keep in mind that Musharraf has been a largely reliable ally who agreed to hold elections.
"Prior to Musharraf, Pakistan was a failed state," McCain said. "They had corrupt governments and they would rotate back and forth and there was corruption, and Musharraf basically restored order. So you're going to hear a lot of criticism about Musharraf that he hasn't done everything we wanted him to do, but he did agree to step down as head of the military and he did get the elections."
As president, McCain said he would work to secure Pakistan's nuclear arsenal to ensure it didn't fall into the hands of extremists. Next, he would send Defense Secretary Robert Gates to meet with Musharraf and try to move ahead with planned elections.
On the Democratic side, Hillary Rodham Clinton called for an independent, international investigation into Bhutto's death.
"It needs to have credibility and nothing that would happen inside of Pakistan would," Clinton told CNN Friday. She added, "I don't think the Pakistani government at this time under President Musharraf has any credibility at all."


Updated : 2021-03-08 09:40 GMT+08:00