UN chief urges Pakistan to end emergency rule

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BRASILIA, Nov 12 (Reuters) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon today urged the Pakistani government to lift emergency measures imposed earlier this month.

''I would hope that the Pakistani government would do more, including the lifting of emergency measures as well as release detained political leaders,'' Ban told reporters after meeting Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Brasilia.

Pakistan's military president, Pervez Musharraf, imposed emergency rule on Nov. 3. He has sacked most judges, locked up lawyers, rounded up thousands of members of the political opposition, and closed private television channels.

Ban was asked for his reaction to Musharraf's announcement on Sunday that a general election would be held by Jan. 9.

Musharraf, key US ally in the war on terror, declined to say when the emergency would be lifted and the constitution restored.

Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto had welcomed Musharraf's announcement on the election but said he had not gone far enough in meeting her demands.

Ban is visiting Brazil as a part of a South American trip focusing on environmental issues before a UN meeting on climate change next month in Bali, Indonesia.

After meeting Lula, he left for the city of Belem from where he will tour part of the River Amazon.

REUTERS YA RAI0016

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