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Interview: Musharraf pledges to support new gov't
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Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf Tuesday said he would support the new government as long as they function for the betterment of the country.

Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf (L) shakes hands with new Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani after Gilani was sworn in at the President House in Islamabad March 25, 2008.

In an exclusive interview with Xinhua at the Presidential House in Islamabad, Musharraf said that Pakistan had free, fair, transparent elections, which were part of the democratic culture and system of Pakistan.

"The new government has come and they are from coalitions," Musharraf said, "This is a normal, natural and democratic process and they must run the government well."

Musharraf said he would like to facilitate and support the new government if it functioned for the betterment and development of the country and its people. "I would like to be very supportive towards the government," he added.

"I hope the government addresses the issues which will sustain the economic growth of Pakistan and also ensure the well-being of its people," Musharraf said.

Responding to a question, Musharraf said the three pillars of the country, namely the judiciary, executive and legislative bodies, must function within their respective bounds and not clash with each other.

He mentioned that there had been a clash among the three pillars in the past. "I will only say that is not healthy for good governance, for the nation," he said.

Musharraf said he hoped the three pillars would remain independent and strong and function respectively for the welfare of the country.

Pakistan held general elections on Feb. 18 and the Pakistan People's Party emerged as the largest party in the National Assembly. The party is forming a coalition government with other parties including the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, led by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in the center. The first batch of 24 ministers were sworn in last Monday.

(Xinhua News Agency April 9, 2008)

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