WASHINGTON - The United States on Monday declined to take a position on former President Pervez Musharraf's indictment by a Special Court on five counts of high treason, stating that the issue needed to be resolved in accordance with the country's Constitution and law.
"We don't take any position on legal proceedings involving former President Musharraf." State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf said in response to a question at the daily Press briefing.
"We believe it's an issue to be resolved in accordance with Pakistan's Constitution and law," she added.
US TO SPEND $400,000 FOR CAMEL STATUE
INP adds: The State Department plans to spend $400,000 in taxpayer dollars to purchase a camel statue for the new American Embassy in Islamabad.
The sculpture by artist John Baldessari depicts a fiberglass camel staring into the eye of an oversized needle in play on a passage from the New Testament about the difficulty the wealthy have in entering heaven, BuzzFeed reported.
According to a procurement document, the 500-pound, fiberglass, aluminum, stainless-steel, acrylic and painted "Camel Contemplating a Needle" will be displayed at the new Embassy compound in Islamabad, which is estimated to be fully completed by 2016.
"This artist's product is uniquely qualified," the document says. "Public art which will be presented in the new Embassy should reflect the values of a predominantly Islamist country."
State Department Press spokeswoman Christine Foushee told BuzzFeed the proposed purchase is part of the department's "Office of Art in Embassies" programme, which oversees art purchases for new construction projects at Embassies and consulates.
Steven Beyer of Beyer Projects, the dealer for the project, told the publication the $400,000 price tag "is actually a very reduced price for this sculpture," adding, that the firm was "quite surprised" with the State Department's request.
The department came under scrutiny in December after commissioning a $1 million sculpture to be installed at new building at the American Embassy in London in 017. The purchase was defended as a "good use" of the agency's resources.