India regrets difficult times Pakistan going through

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New Delhi, Nov 3 (UNI) India today regretted the ''difficult times'' Pakistan was going through and hoped that normalcy would soon return there.

''We regret the difficult times that Pakistan is passing through.

We trust that conditions of normalcy will soon return permitting Pakistan's transition to stability and democracy to continue,'' the External Affairs Ministry said here this evening in a brief statement.

The statement came shortly after Gen Pervez Musharraf imposed emergency in Pakistan, suspending civil liberties and putting the democratic machinery including the Judiciary in a limbo.

Immediately after the emergency was declared in Pakistan, suspending all fundamental rights, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and discussed the emerging situation in that country.

The meeting also examined the situation in the sub-continent following the latest developments, sources said.

The sources, when asked whether the developments would have any impact on the ongoing Composite Dialogue Process (CDP) between India and Pakistan, declined a categorical comment saying they would prefer to ''wait and watch.'' The Congress said the developments in Pakistan were a matter of "great concern" for India as "whatever happens there will impact us".

"Both India and Pakistan are in the same sub-continent. So whatever happens there will affect us here," AICC General Secretary in charge of Media Veerappa Moily told mediapersons here.

He said India had always wished that democracy prospered in Pakistan.

"This is our wish. Pakistan today or tomorrow will have to get back to normalcy." Mr Moily said the party was hopeful that the present problems in Pakistan would settle down and the democratic process would set in.

The BJP strongly condemed the imposition of emergency in Pakistan , calling it a 'desperate move by the dictator' to stay back in power.

''It was the last ditch effort of Gen Musharraf to stay back in power,'' BJP Vice-President and former External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha told reporters.

Pakistan, he said, was a ''nuclear weapon state and an epicentre of terror and its actions will not be confined to its borders but to the entire South Asia and the whole world''.

''India should strongly condemn Gen Musharraf's steps and take all measures to secure its borders and impress upon the world community about the need to take actions against Pakistan which was much more dangerous than Myanmar,'' he said.

The United States policy on Pakistan had totally failed and the former's wish of bringing back democracy in the country was never complied by the ''Pakistani dictator'', Mr Sinha said.

Left parties said the imposition of Emergency in Pakistan by President Pervez Musharraf was a '' regrettable development.'' CPI leaders A B Bardhan and Shamim Faizi said in a statement that the agreement with PPP leader Benazir Bhutto was not for restoration of democracy- the National Reconcilation Ordinance was just an attempt to buy over corrupt politicians.

They said Gen Musharraf betrayed the people by contesting elections in uniform.

The recent developments may have an impact on the Composite Dialogue Process, the Left leaders apprehended.

Leader of the Opposition L K Advani asked India to keep a close watch on the developments in Pakistan, and said the situation in the neighbouring country was a matter of deep concern not just for India but the whole international community.

In a statement, Mr Advani said the struggle for democracy and struggle against terrorism, fuelled by religious extremism, were all inseperable in Pakistani politics.

The world community must understand that those who have imposed Emergency for perpetuating military rule in Pakstan can't be a reliable ally in the struggle against Jehadi terrorism.

''I would like to convey my deepest solidarity to the people of Pakistan in this hour of trial and hope, and their struggle for democracy and rule of law will succeed soon,'' he added.

UNI

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