Don’t arrest political opponents: Britain tells Pakistan government

March 16th, 2009 - 6:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Nawaz Sharif London, March 16 (IANS) British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has welcomed reports that the Pakistan government will seek to revoke the disqualification of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, but expressed concern at the arrests of his supporters.
Miliband said he was concerned by recent events in Pakistan and had discussed them with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke.

He said he welcomed the Pakistan government’s decision to petition the Supreme Court against Sharif’s and his brother Shahbaz’s disqualification from electoral politics and its commitment to resolve the issue of restoration of the judiciary.

However, he added: “I remain concerned about the arrests of opposition supporters, which is not an appropriate response to legal public protest.

“Having been in close contact with both President [Asif Ali] Zardari and former Prime Minister Sharif during the past two weeks, I believe they both realise the high stakes for their country,” Miliband said.

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