President Pervez Musharraf has told a top U.S. diplomat emergency rule will not be lifted, until the security situation improves in Pakistan.
General Musharraf met with US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte in Islamabad Saturday, with Negroponte pressing the Pakistani president to lift emergency rule and guarantee free and fair elections. Negroponte is expected to comment about the talks during a press conference on Sunday.
Pakistani officials say the army's deputy chief, General Asfaq Kayani, also attended the meeting. He is widely expected to take over as military chief when General Musharraf quits that post.
Friday, General Musharraf swore in a new interim Cabinet, with Senate Chairman Mohammadmian Soomro leading the caretaker government that will oversee parliamentary elections.
Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was released from house arrest last Friday, says she does not recognize the interim administration, nor does she accept that free and fair elections can be held under the current state of emergency.