International pressure on Pakistan
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
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
"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
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