Commonwealth summit wraps up, without Pakistan

KAMPALA, Nov 25, 2007 (AFP) – Commonwealth leaders called on Pakistan on Sunday to remain engaged with the group as they wrapped up a summit here that saw the suspension of President Pervez Musharraf’s country.

Leaders from the 53-nation federation “called on the government of Pakistan to respond positively to the Commonwealth’s desire to remain engaged and support the return of democratic government and the rule of law.”

They endorsed Thursday’s decision by Commonwealth foreign ministers to suspend Pakistan after Musharraf failed within a 10-day deadline to end emergency law despite progress in other areas, a final communique said.

Leaders from the Commonwealth, a body representing nearly a third of the world’s population, also called for global trade talks to be concluded swiftly and endorsed a statement made Saturday to be sent to next month’s climate change conference in Bali, the communique said.

It was the second time Pakistan has been suspended from the Commonwealth, with the first in 1999 when President Pervez Musharraf seized power in a bloodless coup d’etat. It returned to the fold in 2004.

Musharraf declared a state of emergency on November 3, placing the chief justice under h