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US favours free, fair elections in Pak, says Olson (updated).

LAHORE -- US Ambassador to Pakistan, Richard Olson on Monday said the United States was in favour of free, fair and transparent elections in Pakistan so that the country's democratic system may strengthen.

Pakistan is expected to hold elections by mid-May with the federal parliament due to disband by mid-March. The polls are expected to mark the first democratic transition between two civilian governments in the country's history.

Speaking to media representatives in Lahore, Olson said the United States was not biased in favour of or against any political leader or party.

The envoy said the US was very hopeful with regard to the general elections in Pakistan and added that his country was a proponent of democracy.

Meanwhile US Ambassador also visited the mausoleum of Allama Iqbal and laid a floral wreath at his grave.

He stayed there and observed silence for some time. Recording his remarks in the visitor's book, Olson acknowledged services of the 20th century poet who played an important role in the creation of Pakistan.

He also visited the historical Badshahi Mosque and the Lahore Fort and he admired the grandeur and architecture of the monument.

The entire area was cordoned off by heavy contingent of police force and rangers to avoid any untoward incident.
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Publication:The Frontier Star (Northwest Frontier Province, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Jan 29, 2013
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