Pakistan resents Commonwealth's ultimatum, justifies Emergency

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Islamabad, Nov 14 (UNI) Pakistan has expressed deep disappointment and regret over the statement issued by Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) asking it to lift Emergency or get ready for expulsion from the 53-member organization.

The statement reflects ignorance regarding the ground realties and the enormity of the challenges faced by Pakistan and undermines the efforts vital for maintaining political stability and preserving the ongoing political process in the country, foreign office spokesman Muhammad Sadiq said in Islamabad.

He said emergency was imposed under 'extraordinary circumstances' to avert an institutional breakdown and internal crisis that could have paralysed the government, causing incalculable harm to the country.

The international community must also understand that such a situation would have constricted the ability of the government to counter militancy and terrorism that posed a grave threat not just to Pakistan but to the world, he said.

The statement said Pakistan was committed to full democratic rule as assemblies would shortly complete their tenure and a caretaker setup would be instituted to hold elections before January 9 next year.

Pakistan will follow its own roadmap to transition to democracy as outlined by the president, and decisions on issues of vital importance will be taken in accordance with our national interests and requirements, not in observance of any artificially set timelines from outside, added the foreign office spoikesperson.

The Foreign Office (FO) rejected the CMAG announcement and demands, and asked its High Commission in London to send a full report on the proceedings of the CMAG, which would help determine the future course of action.

Pakistan military ruler President Pervez Musharraf had imposed emergency in the country on November 3 and banished independent judges hostile to him, curbed civil rights, media and the lawyrs which led to world wide criticism.

UNI

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