Pakistan must strive for democracy: UK’s Brown

LONDON – Pakistan’s political leaders must strive for democracy, which would stand as a lasting memorial to assassinated opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Monday.

In an article for Pakistan’s Daily Jang newspaper, Brown said it was important Bhutto’s killing did not deflect the country’s political leaders from the pursuit of democracy and that scheduled elections could be free, fair and secure.

“A strong representative democracy in Pakistan will defeat terrorism and extremism, show the path to a more stable, prosperous future, and stand as a lasting memorial to the life’s work of Benazir Bhutto,” Brown wrote.

“We owe it to her memory to strive together to achieve that goal,” he said.

Bhutto’s killing in a suicide attack on Thursday stoked bloodshed across the country, casting doubt on nuclear-armed Pakistan’s stability and its transition to civilian rule.

Electoral officials are due to hold an emergency meeting on Monday to decide whether to go ahead with a planned January 8 election. Bhutto’s party, which chose her son and husband on Sunday to succeed her, has said it will take part in the election.

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