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Britain urges restraint on all sides in Pakistan
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10:45, November 04, 2007

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British Foreign Secretary David Miliband urged restraint on all sides in Pakistan after President General Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency in the country on Saturday.

Britain is working closely with "friends of Pakistan" on the international stage in a bid to encourage all parties to show restraint and "work together for a peaceful and democratic resolution," Miliband said.

"We recognize the threat to peace and security faced by the country, but its future rests on harnessing the power of democracy and the rule of law to achieve the goals of stability, development and countering terrorism," he said.

In a national address earlier on Saturday, President Musharraf said Pakistan was on the verge of stabilization and he could not allow his country to commit suicide.

He declared a state of emergency in the country and issued a provisional constitutional order (PCO), citing the ascendancy in the activities of extremists and incidents of terrorist attacks, and the abuse of the judiciary in the country.

Under the PCO, the Constitution of Pakistan has been put in abeyance. But the National Assembly, Senate and the provincial assemblies of Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan will remain functional. The Prime Minister and his cabinet, Chief Ministers and provincial cabinets and the governors and all those in the service of Pakistan will also continue performing their duties.

The move came ahead of a Supreme Court ruling on the President's re-election in October.

The British Foreign Secretary said "All friends of Pakistan will be concerned by the turn of events today."

It is "vital that the government acts in accordance with the constitution, and abides by the commitment to hold free and fair elections," he said.

"We will raise our concerns about these developments at the highest levels," he added.

Source: Xinhua

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