Commonwealth secretary general welcomes Pakistan polls

February 22nd, 2008 - 9:08 pm ICT by admin  

Islamabad, Feb 22 (Xinhua) Commonwealth Secretary General Don McKinnon has welcomed the Feb 18 general elections in Pakistan, saying the polls were held in a fair and peaceful manner, according to a press release issued here Friday. In a special message to Pakistan Election Commission Secretary Kanwar Dilshad, McKinnon said, “These elections were an important step in Pakistan’s journey towards full democracy, the people of Pakistan have spoken and their voice must be heard and respected,” the official Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

Pakistan has been suspended from the 53-member group after the imposition of Nov 3 emergency last year, but observers say the country could soon regain its membership once the new democratic government is formed.

“The Commonwealth is keen to engage with the new government once it is formed, including a ministerial level as Pakistan is important to the Commonwealth,” said the secretary general.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) won majority seats in the National Assembly, and will form coalition governments in central and provincial levels, leaders of the two parties announced Thursday night.

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