The Commonwealth has suspended Pakistan until democracy is restored after military ruler Gen. Pervez Musharraf failed to meet a deadline to lift emergency rule and step down as army chief.

A committee of foreign ministers of the 53-member organization ‘has suspended Pakistan from councils of the Commonwealth pending restoration of democracy and rule of law in the country,’ secretary general Don McKinnon told journalists.

He said the group was disappointed because there had been some progress — and cited the release of detainees — but said it was concerned about the arrests of journalists and lawyers and said the Commonwealth’s conditions had not been fulfilled.

‘The state of emergency had not been lifted. The constitution and the independence of the judiciary not restored and fundamental rights and the rule of law remain curtailed,’ McKinnon said, reading a statement on behalf of the ministers.



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