Commonwealth to review suspension of Pak

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New Delhi, Apr 19: The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) will meet in London on May 12 to review the suspension of Pakistan and consider political dvelopments in the Fiji Islands, official sources said here today.

Pakistan was suspended from the Councils of the Commonwealth on November 22, 2007, after the imposition of emergency in the country. The CMAG, which addresses serious or persistent violations of the Commonwealth' s values and principles, had, at that time, agreed to review progress in Pakistan after the conduct of elections. Elections in Pakistan were held on February 18 and an elected Government installed in Islamabad.

Fiji was suspended from the Councils of the Commonwealth in December 2006 following a military coup.

''The Commonwealth is closely monitoring progress before the suspension can be lifted,'' the sources said.

Pakistan was previously suspended from the Councils of the Commonwealth in October 1999 and restored to full membership in May 2004.

However, it remained on the agenda of the CMAG, pending the separation of the offices of Head of State and Chief of Army Staff.

The CMAG was established by Commonwealth Heads of Government in November 1995 to deal with serious or persistent violations of the Commonwealth's fundamental political values.

The Group is convened by the Secretary-General and is composed of the Foreign Ministers of nine Commonwealth member countries, including the Foreign Ministers of Ghana, Malaysia, Namibia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, St Lucia, Sri Lanka, Uganda and the United Kingdom.

Their task is to assess the nature of the infringement on the Commonwealth's principles and recommend measures for collective Commonwealth action aimed at the speedy restoration of democracy and constitutional rule.


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