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Pakistan rejects EU parliament resolution calling for ending emergency
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09:32, November 20, 2007

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Pakistan on Monday rejected a EU parliament resolution calling for an end to the ongoing emergency rule in the south Asian country, saying that it ignored the ground realities that necessitated the decree.

"The Resolution is regrettable because it ignores the ground realities and fails to show understanding of the extraordinary situation that necessitated emergency for maintaining political stability and preserving the on-going political process in the country," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

President Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency across the country on Nov. 3, which the foreign ministry said "was imposed to avert an institutional breakdown and internal crisis that had paralyzed the government and had the potential to cause incalculable harm."

The EU parliament passed the resolution last week, calling on Pakistan to revoke the emergency decree and free those detained for demonstrating during the state of emergency, including opposition VIPs.

Pakistan has seen bickering between political parties after Musharraf won an estimated majority in the Oct. 6 presidential election. Prominent figures from opposition parties had filed petitions in the Supreme Court, contending that Musharraf was not qualified to contest the election.

Musharraf is currently president and chief of army staff. The general has said he would wait for the verdict from the Supreme Court on the legality of his presidential candidacy before stepping down as army chief. He has also said he would shed his military uniform once re-elected.

Five of the six petitions against Musharraf were dropped Monday, leaving only one, which was to be heard on Thursday. The Supreme Court was expected to deliver a verdict Thursday or Friday.

Musharraf, under pressure after the emergency decree, said Sunday he would recommend for the general elections to be held on Jan. 8, fulfilling his previous promise to have general elections held before Jan. 9.

The election commission convened a meeting Monday to devise a code of conduct for the upcoming general elections in early January but major opposition parties, including the Pakistan People's Party led by former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, boycotted the meeting, saying the commission was partial and could not hold a transparent polls.

Bhutto was also mulling a boycott of the general elections. Musharraf has rejected calls from the United States to end the state of emergency, saying it was necessary to ensure peaceful polls.

Source: Xinhua



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