Pakistan Suspended from Commonwealth
The Commonwealth of Nations has suspended Pakistan’s membership, pending a restoration of democratic governance.
Pakistan was suspended from the Commonwealth last night despite last-minute assurances from President Musharraf that he would lift the state of emergency soon.
The decision threatens to deprive Pakistan of hundreds of millions of pounds of foreign investment and Commonwealth development funding, as well as excluding it from the 53-member bloc’s decision-making councils until democracy is restored.
Foreign ministers meeting in Kampala agreed that General Musharraf had made some progress towards fulfilling the conditions demanded by the Commonwealth ten days ago. But they ruled that by suspending the Constitution, jailing lawyers and other political opponents and imposing emergency rule he had violated the democratic principles of the Commonwealth.
Expressing regret for Pakistan’s failure to comply with its ultimatum the Commonwealth said that it had suspended Pakistan “pending the restoration of democracy and the rule of law in that country”.
“This decision was taken in sorrow, not in anger,” David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, said. “Democracy and the rule of law are the best allies of security and stability in Pakistan.”
A bold move that should increase pressure on Musharraf to do the right thing.
via OTB News
Image source: BBC