A Commonwealth ministerial committee decided to suspend Pakistan from the 53-nation bloc pending the return of the rule of law following the imposition of emergency rule earlier this month. "CMAG (Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group) has suspended Pakistan forthwith from the council pending the return of the rule of law and democracy," Commonwealth Secretary General Don McKinnon said. He was speaking in Kampala on the eve of the Commonwealth’s biennial heads of government summit after a special meeting on Pakistan involving foreign ministers from nine member countries.
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency on November 3, placing the chief justice under house arrest, detaining lawyers, rights activists and opposition members and curbing press freedoms.
McKinnon acknowledged a number of steps recently undertaken by Musharraf to roll back controversial measures but insisted that the situation remained in "serious violation" of the Commonwealth’s fundamental values.