Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson says it’s time for the United States to stop sending military aid to Pakistan that is not being used in the war on terrorism. According to Richardson, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has thumbed his nose at the U.S. again and again, and it’s time for him to go.
"Push Musharraf to step aside, form a caretaker government in Pakistan," Richardson suggested this morning in Des Moines. "It’s under their Constitution, a caretaker government of technocrats to take over for a short period of time until free and fair elections can be held that are broadly based."
Richardson said President Bush mistakenly believes Musharraf is a trusted ally in the fight against terrorism. "Unless we take steps rapidly…Musharraf’s position in Pakistan will continue to erode," Richardson says. "…His domestic base of support…is already extremely low. Sixty-five percent of the Pakistani people want him out of office."
Richardson speech focused on Pakistan came the day after Pakistani politician Benazir Bhutto was assassinated. Richardson, who is currently New Mexico’s governor, stressed his background as a U.N. Ambassador in Bill Clinton’s administration during his remarks to a crowd of about 200.