Pakistan Suspended from Commonwealth

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

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. DC Loser says:

    But the most important question wasn’t answered – what will become of the Pakistani Cricket team’s matches with the other Commonwealth teams? That’s what everyone wants to know.

  2. William d'Inger says:

    I applaud the decision as the correct move at the correct time, however, I also feel it is tainted by typical Euro-liberal political correctness. They gave an important U.S. ally 10 days to comply whereas it took them about three years to do the same in the case of Zimbabwe.

  3. DC Loser says:

    Given that a large number of the Commonwealth’s members are from Africa, that delay for Zimbabwe is understanble, though certainly not without the accusation of hypocrisy as noted. However, I don’t see Mugabe being hurt in the slightest by that exclusion, and the isolation only reinforces his grip on power.

  4. kenny says:

    “They gave an important U.S. ally 10 days to comply whereas it took them about three years to do the same in the case of Zimbabwe.”

    Eh ?

    Zimbabwe was suspended from the commonwealth after the highly dubious elections in march 2002. The elections finished on the 11th march 2002. The commonwealth suspended Zimbabwe on the 19th march 2002.

    Or a total of 8 days.