'End Pak's suspension from Commonwealth'

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Islamabad, Apr 3: British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has said he would work towards calling an early meeting of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) to end Pakistan's suspension from the Councils of Commonwealth.

Pakistan's membership had been suspended from the organisation comprising former British colonies in November after imposition of the state of emergency in the country by President Pervez Musharraf five years after Islamabad was readmitted to it after 2002 parliamentary election. ''As democracy was restored in Pakistan after credible elections, Britain will work towards calling an early meeting of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) to end Pakistan's suspension from the Councils of Commonwealth,'' Mr Miliband told his Pakistani counterpart Mr Shah Mehmood Qureshi during a telephonic conversation.

The British Foreign Secretary said he was planning to visit Pakistan by the end of April.

''Mr Miliband congratulated Mr Qureshi on his appointment as foreign minister and invited him to visit London,'' foreign office spokesman Muhammad Sadiq said in a statement here today.

Mr Miliband expressed hope that Pakistan, as an important regional player, would continue to play its leading role in the region.

Foreign Minister Qureshi said Pakistan-UK relations are cordial and multifaceted.

He added that the British investment, economic assistance and bilateral trade were important for Pakistan, saying that the two countries were also partners in war against terrorism.

Bilateral relationship is further strengthened by almost one million strong community of British citizens and residents of Pakistani origin.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that he was looking forward to the visit of the British Foreign Secretary to Pakistan.


UNI

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