China, Australia react with dismay to Pakistan emergency decree

November 14th, 2007 - 8:25 am ICT by admin  
“We are concerned about the situation in Pakistan, and believe the Pakistani government and people are capable of solving their problems,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao was quoted as telling the official news agency Xinhua.

Liu also expressed China’s hope that stability could be maintained in its politically fractious southern neighbour.

In Sydney, Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer urged Pakistan to return to constitutional rule, saying Canberra was “very concerned” about the declaration of a state of emergency there.

Downer acknowledged Pakistan’s difficult security challenges, but said democratic processes still needed to be maintained.

“Australia’s strong view remains, however, that democracy and the rule of law are an essential part of achieving peace and stability,” he said in a statement.

Progress towards democracy could not be made without the protection of civil rights and freedom for political parties, the judiciary and the press, he added. (ANI with inputs)

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