Bush Urges Musharraf to Relent

President calls on Pakistan leader to hold elections, give up uniform
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2007 6:13 PM CST
Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto during her news conference in Islamabad, Pakistan on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007. Police swung batons and fired tear gas at supporters of former Prime Minister...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – President Bush today spoke to Pervez Musharraf for the first time since the declaration of emergency rule and urged the Pakistani leader to quit his military post and hold elections promptly, Reuters reports. "I had a very frank discussion with him," Bush said. The move comes as Benazir Bhutto increased pressure on Musharraf by moving ahead with plans for a massive public protest unless he acts by Friday.

"You need to take off your uniform," Bush told Musharraf. "You can't be president and head of the military at the same time." Protests continued in the streets, meanwhile, as police beat and tear-gassed supporters of Bhutto. Pakistani government officials have predicted a return to normalcy within three weeks, but Musharraf has made no such promises himself.