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SECTION: News; International
LENGTH: 649 words
HEADLINE: Clinton Ends South Asian Trip with Visit to Pakistan, India's Rival
BYLINE: Brian Nelson, Imran Anwar
President Clinton ended his South Asian visit with a trip to India's rival nation, Pakistan. Its ruler, General Musharraf, could not give the president a timeframe for the restoration of Democracy in Pakistan, but he says that he does plan to hold local elections.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIAN NELSON, CNN ANCHOR: General Musharraf could not give the president a timeframe for the restoration of Democracy in Pakistan, but he says that he does plan to hold local elections.
And Imran Anwar is a businessman and a South Asian political analyst. In the 1980s, he was in prison while promoting a return to Democracy in Pakistan, and he joins us now from our New York bureau.
Thank you for being with us.
IMRAN ANWAR, BUSINESSMAN: My pleasure to be here.
NELSON: The president went into Pakistan with a number of concerns on his mind: military rule, support for the militants in Kashmir, nuclear arms, and of course economic development in Pakistan. What do you think he left with?
ANWAR: Well basically, it is hard to say if he left with anything concrete, other than leaving behind a sense with the Pakistan public that America does care about what happens to Pakistan. He left with some level of pressure on the Pakistani government. I would like to think that democracy and a return to it are essential for the relationship to move further and for Pakistan to progress economically.
But what he did not leave behind and which the public and the politicians were hoping for was some level of assurance that the U.S. would help solve the core problem that separates India and Pakistan, which is the Kashmir problem.
NELSON: President Musharraf announcing local elections was -- I don't know if this is directly in response to Mr. Clinton's raising of the issue of Democracy in Pakistan and the need to get rid of military rule, but is that going to play well in Pakistan.
ANWAR: Well, any kind of action which helps appear to be a move toward democracy will be liked by the public in general. The only thing is that if it's not based upon real democracy, if it's not based upon real change, if it's still the same political parties just basically fighting at a lower level, then previously at a higher level, there is no real change as far as the public is concerned.
So the real issues, health education, economic issues, for example, jobs, et cetera, those are the real problems, and those will not get solved unless something is done in a more concrete manner.
NELSON: So you're saying those come before democracy in Pakistan?
ANWAR: Well, that is basically what General Musharraf point is, as far as can I tell, is that sometimes it's important to do away with things like democracy. President Clinton's points is also well taken that you not have democracy without a stable system in place, and economic development can not take place without a strong and stable democracy. The people really have had so many chances to deal with elected government in the past who did not nothing for them, that to them, it's really, who will some my problems? First that comes first on their list of priorities.
NELSON: All right. I think we don't have a lot of time, but I want to address the issue of the invitation that the president extended to Pakistan and to India to sit down and discuss their differences, particularly over Kashmir. Is -- do you see that as small step forward in the continuing and tractable problems between the two countries?
ANWAR: Absolutely a small step, and too small, and it's going to do as much good as the U.S. applying pressure on both sides, both India and Pakistan, to solve the Kashmir problem and to follow up on the United Nations resolutions that have been on books for almost 50 years now.
NELSON: All right, Anwar -- I'm sorry, let me get this right: Imran Anwar, I'm sorry, I apologize for that. Thank you for joining us from our New York bureau.
ANWAR: Pleasure to be here.
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LOAD-DATE: March 25, 2000