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International pressure on Pakistan increases 
Politics Watch ® News Services
November 5, 2007, updated 5:45 p.m.

Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf is coming under fire from leaders around the world. 

OTTAWA  (PoliticsWatch.com) — International pressure  increased on Pakistan Monday after U.S. President George W. Bush weighed in for the first time on the government's imposition of emergency measures.  

"We expect there to be elections as soon as possible,'' Bush said after a meeting at the White House with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  "We made clear that these emergency measures would undermine democracy.'' 

On November 3, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf imposed sweeping emergency measures across his country, including the firing of the chief justice of Pakistan's Supreme Court, the arrest of opposition politicians and media restrictions. 

Musharraf says the measures are part of a crackdown on terrorism, but critics accuse him of trying turn Pakistan into a full-blown dictatorship. 

Analysts suspect the emergency measures were put in place to preempt a Supreme Court ruling that would prevent him from being elected president because of his simultaneous role as army chief. 
Canada was quick to condemn Musharraf's decision, issuing a statement of condemnation  within hours of  the emergency measures being put in place. 

“These measures undermine democratic development, judicial independence and the possibility of free and fair elections to which the people of Pakistan are entitled," Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier said in a statement released on Saturday.

On Monday, Musharraf tried to reassure the international community that elections will go ahead and he would give up his military powers. 

"I am determined to execute this third stage of transition fully and I'm determined to remove my uniform once we correct these pillars in judiciary and the executive and the parliament," he told a gathering of foreign diplomats. 

However, Pakistan's government officials sent mixed messages about when the country will hold parliamentary elections. The prime minister said there was a possibility that they could be delayed, while the secretary of state said they will go ahead as scheduled in January.

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