Commonwealth gives Pakistan suspension ultimatum

LONDON, Nov 13, 2007 (AFP) – The Commonwealth on Monday gave Pakistan a 10-day deadline to restore its constitution and lift other emergency measures or face suspension from the 53-nation grouping. The ultimatum came after emergency talks among the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) in London to decide how to respond to President Pervez Musharraf’s declaration of a state of emergency on November 3.

Following an extraordinary meeting of CMAG, which deals with serious breaches of the grouping’s guiding principles, Secretary-General Don McKinnon said that, if Musharraf fails to meet its demands by a ministers’ meeting on the eve of a November 23-25 Commonwealth summit in Uganda, Pakistan will be suspended as a member.

“CMAG agreed that at its next meeting on the 22 November, if after review of progress Pakistan has failed to implement these necessary measures, it will suspend Pakistan from the councils of the Commonwealth,” he told reporters.

“We have given Pakistan a little breathing space between now and then to comply” with the demands, he added, when asked why they did not suspend Pakistan straightaway.

McKinnon said that Pakistan had “seriously violated the Commonweal