India had no role in Pak’s suspension from Commonwealth, says MenonNovember 23rd, 2007 - 10:11 pm ICT by admin
By Naveen Kapoor
Kampala (Uganda), Nov 23 (ANI):Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon today dispelled the notion that New Delhi has adopted a soft approach on Islamabad and said that it had no role in Pakistan’s suspension from Commonwealth since India is not a member of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) that took the decision.
“We are not the members of the CMAG so it is not for us to take a position,” Menon told reporters on the sidelines of the meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) here.
He also indicated that the suspension might not have any impact on the bilateral relationship between India and Pakistan.
“Suspension of Pakistan means that its leaders will not be allowed to attend any intergovernmental Commonwealth meetings,” Menon added.
Sources close to ANI said that African countries vehemently pushed for taking a tough stance on Pakistan, while Sri Lanka and Malaysia were reluctant to suspend Pakistan from the 53-member-nation group.
Earlier in the day, Indian Foreign Ministry spokesperson said, “We have noted the decision taken by Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, and our hope remains that stability and normalcy will return to Pakistan as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile, Pakistan said that it would review its future association with the Commonwealth.
Pakistan Foreign Office in Islamabad termed latest action of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) as “unreasonable and unjustified”.
The Commonwealth, mostly comprising of former British colonies, had asked Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf to lift the nation-wide emergency, which he had imposed on November 3, by Thursday.
On Thursday, the CMAG suspended Pakistan from the group saying that the situation there “continued to represent a serious violation of the Commonwealth’s fundamental values.”
Pakistan will be banned from attending the organisation’s meetings and taking part in the Commonwealth Games.
It is the second time that Pakistan has been expelled from the Commonwealth. The country was suspended in 1999, after Musharraf seized power in a coup. It was reinstated in 2004. (ANI)
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Tags: bilateral relationship, chogm, cmag, commonwealth heads, former british colonies, fundamental values, general pervez musharraf, hope remains, India, islamabad, kampala uganda, menon, ministerial action group, normalcy, pakistan, president general, shiv shankar, soft approach, vehemently