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SC ruling Pakistan's internal matter: US

By Lalit K Jha
December 23, 2009 09:13 IST
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The United States on Wednesday said that any fallout due to striking down of the National Reconciliation Ordinance by Pakistan's Supreme Court is an 'internal matter' of that country and it will not 'try to get in the middle of it'.

"This is really an internal matter for the Pakistani government," said Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs P J Crowley.

He was replying to a question on the political developments in Pakistan following the recent supreme court order scrapping a graft amnesty law. The country's anti-corruption body has reopened several cases against President Asif Ali Zardari and top ministers.

"It's not for us to try to get in the middle of that. What is important is that the Pakistani government and its leadership be seen as legitimate in the eyes of the Pakistani people. You know, there was an election in Pakistan," he said.

"President Zardari came to office through a legitimate parliamentary process. Prime Minister (Yusuf Raza) Gilani was elected by Pakistani people. If there is a legal judgment that changes the status of the government, that is really an internal matter for Pakistan," he asserted.

He, however, said the Barack Obama administration would continue to work to try to help build up the capacity of the government of Pakistan to meet the needs of its own people.

"Last week, we sent up the first report on our civilian assistance programmes under Kerry-Lugar-Berman. As to what is happening with the President, other ministers, this is an internal matter," Crowley said.

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Lalit K Jha in Washington
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