ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — A senior U.S. envoy who said Pakistan’s democratic process had been “derailed” carried a stern warning Friday to President Gen. Pervez Musharraf from the Bush administration to end emergency rule.
In an apparent move to blunt criticism from Musharraf’s key foreign backer, authorities freed opposition leaders including Benazir Bhutto as well as a U.N. human rights expert and let two independent news channels back on air.
But the general also pressed on with disputed plans for January elections, swearing in an interim government led by a loyalist charged with preparing Pakistan for the vote and defending his record during the eight years since he seized power in a coup.
“I take pride in the fact that, being a man in uniform, I have actually introduced the essence of democracy in Pakistan, whether anyone believes it or not,” a solemn-looking Musharraf said after the low-key ceremony at the presidential palace.
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