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Commonwealth suspends Pakistan's membership
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10:45, November 23, 2007

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Pakistan was suspended from the Commonwealth councils at the last minute before a ten day deadline expired on Thursday, a Commonwealth ministerial committee decided in Kampala Friday.

Following two meetings on Thursday, the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) headed by Malta Foreign Minister Michael Frendo, made the decision hours before the biennial Commonwealth summit kicks off on Friday.

The state of emergency "represents a serious violation of the Commonwealth's fundamental political values," the body's Secretary-General Don McKinnon said at a news conference in Kampala.

Pakistan will be barred from attending meetings of the Commonwealth and receiving assistance from the group.

The Commonwealth warned Pakistan on Nov. 12 that its membership would be suspended if it failed to lift the state of emergency before Nov. 22.

Pakistan was suspended from the Commonwealth in 1999 after a military coup and regained its membership in 2004.


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