Commonwealth to discuss Pak emergency today

November 14th, 2007 - 10:31 am ICT by admin  

The meeting of CMAG ministers was called after President General Pervez Musharraf proclaimed a state of emergency in Pakistan.

It would be interesting to see the outcome of the meeting, as Musharraf had declared that the elections could be held before January 9 next year.

In a statement issued on November 3, McKinnon expressed grave concern at the proclamation of the emergency, calling it a step in the wrong direction and a serious setback to democracy.

CMAG comprises the Foreign Ministers of nine countries - Canada, Lesotho, Malaysia, Malta, Papua New Guinea, St Lucia, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom and United Republic of Tanzania.

Pakistan was suspended from the councils of the 53-member Commonwealth in October 1999 and restored to full membership in May 2004. However, it has since remained on the agenda of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG).

At their meeting in Malta in 2005, the Commonwealth heads of government had noted that the holding of the offices of head of state and Chief of Army Staff by the same person was incompatible with the basic principles of democracy and the spirit of the Harare Commonwealth principles.

They also said until the two offices were separated, the process of democratisation in Pakistan would not be irreversible. (ANI)

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