Commonwealth may suspend Pak from its membership for a second time in eight years

November 14th, 2007 - 8:38 am ICT by admin  
According to The Independent, the Commonwealth expects trouble to come from Tanzania’s delegate who could insist on the summit deciding on the second suspension of Pakistan in less than a decade over its commitment to democracy.

Pakistan was last suspended in 1999 after General Musharraf overthrew former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a bloodless coup.

African states, which have been warned against staging military coups, feel strongly that they were duped by Britain into allowing Pakistan back into the Commonwealth in 2004 with a promise from General Musharraf that he would doff his uniform.

In a worst-case scenario, the issue of Pakistan’s membership could even spill over into the contest for the leadership of the Commonwealth, which is due to elect a new secretary general in Kampala.

The Indian High Commissioner to London, Kamalesh Sharma, who had been widely expected to gain a consensus, is running against Maltese Foreign Minister Michael Frendo, the present chair of the action group.

The Africans may also call for the reopening of the issue of the membership of Zimbabwe, which left the organisation before it was expelled over President Robert Mugabe’s failure to hold free and fair elections. (ANI)

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