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US says Pakistan to decide when to hold elections
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The United States said Saturday that the Pakistani authorities will have to decide when to hold parliamentary elections in the wake of the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

"The elections should be free and fair and parties and candidates should be able to conduct an election in an open way," White House spokesman Tony Fratto said.

"But as for the timing, this will be something that the Pakistani authorities will have to determine," Fratto said.


Pakistan is due to hold parliamentary elections in January.


Fratto also urged the Pakistani authorities to fully investigate Bhutto's death and said the United States will consider assistance to help investigate if it receives request from the Pakistani side.


Bhutto was killed Thursday evening in a suicide attack during her election rally at the Liaquat Bagh park in Rawalpindi, some 30 km south from Islamabad.


Pakistan, under the leadership of President Pervez Musharraf, has been a close ally of the United States on the war against terrorism.


(Xinhua News Agency December 30, 2007)

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