British PM terms emergency in Pakistan as Martial Law

November 24th, 2007 - 11:54 am ICT by admin  

London, Nov 24 (ANI): British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said that the Commonwealths decision to suspend Pakistan from the 53-member bloc was “clear and necessary”, and significantly termed the emergency rule in Pakistan as Martial Law.
“Pakistan was suspended from the multi-national group last night due to recent political developments, including the introduction of martial law and the imprisonment of opposition activists,” Brown said.
Replying to a query how the billion dollar projects of Department for International Development (DFID) would go on after Pakistans suspension, a DFID spokesperson said the department wanted to strike a balance between sending a signal to the Pakistan Government and not penalising poor people.
He said the DFIDs initial response has been to delay sending officials to Pakistan, recall international consultants to safe locations as a precaution in the event of public unrest, “and announce that we are reviewing our development programmes.”
The UK aid was playing a valuable role to help cut extreme poverty in Pakistan “along with other donors we are considering how to respond to the fast changing political situation in Pakistan without penalising the poorest and most vulnerable people,” the Dawn quoted the DFID spokesman, as saying.
Sources said the Pakistani students studying in the UK and non-resident Pakistani workers would not be affected by the suspension.
Pakistan would also be playing test and ODIs with Commonwealth countries, but there is a big question on whether it would be able take part in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India if by that time the suspension is not withdrawn.
Mohan Kaul, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) has been quoted by the Times as saying that the CBC had been forced to postpone a business conference with potential investors last year because of the instability of the country and the growing threat posed by Islamist extremists.
The conference is now tentatively rearranged to take place early next year, but only if the state of emergency is lifted, he added. (ANI)

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