Britain considering implications of Pakistan crisis

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LONDON, Nov 5 (Reuters) Britain said today it was considering whether President Pervez Musharraf's imposition of emergency rule in Pakistan would affect British development and aid programmes for that country.

''We are considering the implications for our development and other assistance programmes in Pakistan,'' a spokesman for British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told reporters.

''We would like to see confirmation that elections will be held on schedule in January (2008) and we do want to see the restoration of normal democratic and constitutional processes.'' Musharraf cited spiralling militancy and hostile judges to justify Saturday's decision to impose emergency rule.

He has slapped reporting curbs on the media in a bid to stop outrage spilling onto the streets amid Pakistan's biggest crisis since he took power in a 1999 coup.

Nuclear-armed Pakistan's internal security has deteriorated sharply in the past few months with a wave of suicide attacks by al Qaeda-inspired militants.

Brown's spokesman said Britain had been in contact with the government of Pakistan ''at all levels'', and had also discussed the situation with other world powers.

''The prime minister has urged President Musharraf to restore constitutional order as soon as possible and to confirm that elections will be held on schedule in January,'' he said.

Reuters PD GC1738

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