» Thursday, November 22, 2007


Asked what Pakistan needed to do to avoid being suspended from the Commonwealth, and where would the bar be set, the PMS replied that the bar was set by the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group. They have called for the restoration of the constitution, President Musharraf to step down as military commander, immediate release of detainees, the removal of curbs on the media, and a rapid move towards the creation of conditions for a free and fare election. These were the specifics, and would determine their decision at their meeting later today.

Asked if the process of suspending Pakistan, if it happened, would happen at this meeting over the weekend, or would the weekend end with an ultimatum, the PMS replied that any suspension would happen fairly immediately, i.e. Pakistan would not be able to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.

Asked what the practical ramifications of suspension were in terms of aid, the PMS replied that on aid we obviously had close connections and were considering the implications of our development and other assistance programmes for Pakistan. We already had contingency plans, though DfID, that come into play during the state of emergency. So that was already ongoing. In terms of the actual ramifications for the country in general, obviously the Commonwealth was a body that brings together important global issues such as those set out already, and with this came benefits.

Asked to clarify that there was consideration of Britain’s aid to Pakistan being in jeopardy, the PMS replied that this was not what she said. There would be implications for our development and other assistance programmes, i.e. the practicalities of those being delivered and how they should be delivered during a state of emergency.

original source.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

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