A top U.S. diplomat is in Pakistan, pressing President Pervez Musharraf to lift emergency rule and guarantee democratic elections set for early January.
Hours after his arrival (Friday), Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte telephoned former (Pakistani) Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, a leader of the opposition to General Musharraf, who is calling on him to resign.
U.S. officials say Mr. Negroponte repeated the U.S. position that moderate political forces must work together to get Pakistan back to constitutional rule. Negroponte also met (late Friday) with the head of Pakistan's National Security Council, Tariq Aziz.
The U.S. envoy is expected to meet with General Musharraf on Saturday. The United States has repeatedly called on President Musharraf to end the state of emergency, restore the constitution and resign as army chief, although Pakistan is still considered a key ally in the war on terror.