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Boucher Sees Progress in Pakistan

The Assistant Secretary of State told VOA's audience that the U.S. supports a "moderate" and "democratic" course for Pakistan

Washington, D.C., May 17, 2007 - In an exclusive television interview with the Voice of America, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard Boucher told VOA's audience that the "Pakistani government is moving forward."

"I think the Pakistani government is moving forward; they're moving toward elections. I recognize that tensions do exist," said Boucher. "We don't support political parties or politicians. We support free and fair elections so that the people of Pakistan can decide, but I think we have a fair amount of confidence that the people of Pakistan are moving in a more moderate direction."

The exclusive television interview with VOA's Urdu-language Beyond the Headlines aired in Pakistan over VOA's affiliate GEO TV.

Boucher also told VOA's audience, "We're supporting a moderate course for Pakistan; we're supporting a democratic course for Pakistan; we're supporting economic opportunity for the people of Pakistan; we're supporting better education for the people of Pakistan."

When asked about the recent bombing in Peshawar the Assistant Secretary of State said, "The horrible murder of that bombing in Peshawar has no justification, no reason, no excuse."

The interview was conducted in English and translated into Urdu for broadcast. The text of the interview was made available to all of VOA's 45 languages.

Beyond the Headlines, a half-hour program aired on the popular GEO TV, covers topics of interest to young Pakistanis. Monday through Friday the program focuses on international developments, technology, politics, social issues, education, religion, sports, and entertainment. GEO TV is the largest private news network in Pakistan and has been an affiliate of VOA since 2005.

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 115 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages.

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