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US Urges Pakistan's Musharraf to Remove Army Uniform, Restore Civilian Rule


U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf should resign as army chief and restore civilian rule.

Ms. Rice at a news conference in the West Bank Monday urged President Musharraf to carry out his promise to shed his army uniform. She also said the United States believes the best path for Pakistan is a return to constitutional rule, followed by elections.

Earlier Monday, the U.S. postponed a defense cooperation meeting with Pakistan planned for this week.

Meanwhile, the Dutch government announced a freeze on aid to Pakistan to show its disapproval of emergency rule.

The British government said it is reviewing its development and aid assistance to Pakistan.

And the United Nations' top human rights official, Louise Arbour, expressed concern about the arrest of hundreds of Pakistani lawyers, judges and activists since the imposition on emergency rule.

On Sunday, Secretary Rice said the United States will review its financial aid to Pakistan. The U.S. has given Pakistan more than $10 billion since 2001. Most of that aid has gone to the Pakistani military.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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