Pak barred from participating in C'wealth meetings

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Kampala, Nov 23 (UNI) With the suspension of Pakistan from the Commonwealth, Secretary General Don McKinnon said that the Islamic nation has also been barred from participating in the Commonwealth meetings and other actvities.

''The implication of such a suspension would be the exclusion of Pakistan's representatives from participarting in the governmental and in other inter-governmental actvities,'' he said today following the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group's(CMAG) decision to suspend the country from the 53-member group due to President Pervez Musharraf's failure to shed uniform.

Caretaker Prime Minister Mohammadmian Soomro had already conveyed to the Commonwealth that Pakistan has taken ''own decision not to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting(CHOGM). He also invited the CMAG to send a delegation to Pakistan for reviewing the political situation in the country.

However, Pakistani officials and diplomats were involved in hectic parleys with representatives of the member-countries urging them to defer suspension decision.

On the question of re-entry of Zimbabwe into the Commonwealth, the officials said,''Zimbabwe has quit the grouping. The question of welcoming it back does not arise. Once you quit the Commonwealth, the issue of re-admission can be taken only after it applies for it.'' Meanwhile, Rwanda has applied for joining the forum and its application in this regard is due for consideration in Trinidad and Tobago in 2009.

UNI

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