Commonwealth suspends Pakistan for failing to restore democracy

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Kampala, Nov 23 (UNI) In a major snub to President Pervez Musharraf, the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) suspended Pakistan from the 53-member group last night and expressed ''disappointment'' over the military regime's failure to lift the emergency, press censorship and restore rule of the law.

An extraordinary meeting of the CMAG, which held brainstorimg session on political turmoil in Pakistan here last night, stated that Gen Musharraf had refused to remove his military uniform and did not respond positively to the international community's demand to withdraw the emergency. Moreover, he has curbed human rights of the people of Pakistan.

The CMAG suspended Pakistan from the council of the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth principles espouse upholding of fundamental human rights, including freedom of association, press freedom and respect of human rights and democratic process.

The suspension would bar Pakistan from attending all official and non official meeting of the 53-member forum. It cannot participate in the Commonwealth run training programmes and workshops and was also excluded from Commonwealth games, scheduled to be held in New Delhi in 2010.

Ed: here pick suitably from earlier series UNI

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