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Commonwealth suspends Pakistan as emergency rule stays in place

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Commonwealth suspends Pakistan as emergency rule stays in place


The 53-nation Commonwealth has suspended Pakistan, following President Pervez Musharraf’s failure to meet a deadline to lift emergency rule and resign as army chief. The announcement was made in Kampala, Uganda, at the close of a meeting of Commonwealth foreign ministers. The organisation’s secretary general Don Mckinnon said the situation in Pakistan represented a serious violation of the Commonwealth’s fundamental political values.

Meanwhile Pakistan’s supreme court has thrown out a final challenge to Musharraf’s relection, paving the way for him to enter a second term of his office.

He is expected to step down as chief of the army and be sworn in the coming days. He has eased the state of emergency, releasing some 5,000 lawyers, opposition and rights activists who had been detained.

But many of the judges and leading lawyers who offered the strongest challenge to his authority remain in prison or under house arrest.

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