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Clinton Praises Pakistani Chief

October 19, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Clinton says he is both encouraged and disappointed by remarks from Pakistan’s new military leader, who seized power in a bloodless coup last week.

Clinton said he was pleased by most of the points Gen. Pervaiz Musharraf made in his address Sunday, his first appearance since he announced last week the ouster of the elected prime minister, Nawaz Sharif. Clinton urged Musharraf to restore democracy quickly.

``A lot of what he said on the substance, including the conciliatory tone he took toward India, I thought was quite good,″ the president said Monday. ``But I was disappointed there was no commitment to a timetable to move toward democracy, and I hope that will be forthcoming.″

White House press secretary Joe Lockhart said the U.S.-Pakistani relationship is in a delicate stage.

``It’s obviously not business as usual,″ Lockhart said at his daily briefing for reporters. ``We’ve made very clear that it will not be business as usual until a civilian and democratic government is restored.″

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