Last night in an interview with ABC News, President Bush “offered his strongest support of embattled Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf,” nearly three weeks after Musharraf declared emergency rule. Bush said that Musharraf hasn’t yet “crossed the line” and insisted Musharraf has “advanced democracy in Pakistan.” Watch it:
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph Biden (D-DE) responded, “What exactly would it take for the president to conclude Musharraf has crossed the line? Suspend the constitution? Impose emergency law? Beat and jail his political opponents and human rights activists? He’s already done all that. If the president sees Musharraf as a democrat, he must be wearing the same glasses he had on when he looked in Vladimir Putin’s soul.”
GIBSON: Mr. President, let me start with foreign policy. Did you put too much faith in Pervez Musharraf?
BUSH: He’s been a loyal ally in fighting terrorists. He’s also advanced democracy in Pakistan. So far, I’ve found him to be a man of his word. The fundamental question I have for President Musharraf is, will these elections be under emergency law? Because if they are, it’s going to be hard for those of us who have believed he’s advanced Pakistan’s democracy to say that’s still the case.
GIBSON: Is there a line he cannot cross in your mind? Something that would go too far, when you might say to yourself, okay, that’s enough?
BUSH: He hasn’t crossed the line. As a matter of fact, I don’t think that he will cross any lines. Today I thought it was a pretty good signal that he released thousands of people from the jails.