WASHINGTON, Oct 6: The White House on Saturday gave cautious congratulations to Pakistan on holding the presidential election, but withheld comment on reports that President Pervez Musharraf had registered a sweeping win.

Two White House officials, spokesman Scott Stanzel and Gordon Johndroe of the National Security Council, gave the same response.

“Pakistan is an important partner and ally to the United States and we congratulate them for today’s election,” they said, apparently reading from a prepared text.

Mr Johndroe also added that Washington looked forward to “working with all of Pakistan’s leaders” on issues, including counterterrorism.

The State Department was less effusive. “We are awaiting the Supreme Court decision,” said spokeswoman Nicole Thompson.

“We will refrain from commenting until the verdict is announced.”

President Musharraf’s victory has placed Washington in an awkward position. While it is obvious that the United States wants Gen Musharraf to continue as president for another term, and played a key role in arranging a deal between him and former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, it is not willing to take a public position on this issue, at least not until the Supreme Court’s verdict is announced.

Opinion

Editorial

Failure of accountability
Updated 26 Jan, 2022

Failure of accountability

THE resignation of PTI government’s accountability czar Barrister Shahzad Akbar is a blow to the party’s central...
26 Jan, 2022

New freight service

THE launch of a new railway freight service connecting the Karachi port with the industrial and commercial centres ...
26 Jan, 2022

Flying curbs

THE unexpected decision of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency to continue its ban on PIA operations to EU...
Under pressure
Updated 25 Jan, 2022

Under pressure

It is fairly obvious that PM is cognisant of the trouble that his government is in from a political and economic perspective.
25 Jan, 2022

Ukraine tensions

TENSIONS between Nato and Russia over Ukraine have reached a critical pass, and there are genuine fears of a fresh...
25 Jan, 2022

Defeating polio

WITH Pakistan in the decisive stage of the battle against polio, every vaccination campaign is of significance as it...