'Pak emergency likely to end in 2-3 weeks'

Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf will likely end emergency rule that has drawn widespread international condemnation in two to three weeks, the president of the country's ruling party told a newspaper.

'Pak emergency likely to end in 2-3 weeks'
Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain — President of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League, a former prime minister and member of General Musharraf's inner circle — said the president understood the ramifications of failing to lift the widely criticised measure.

"I'm sure it will end in two to three weeks as President Pervez Musharraf is aware of the consequences of long emergency rule," Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, President of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League, said in the Dawn's Wednesday edition.

Officials have said national elections will still take place in January, but Musharraf has not yet said when the vote will be held or when the emergency will end.

Pakistani opposition parties will discuss on Wednesday how to overturn emergency rule, hoping to capitalise on international disapproval over the detention of growing numbers of lawyers and political opponents.

Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, in her strongest comments since Musharraf assumed emergency powers on Saturday, said the world must make Pakistan's military leader revoke his measures or tell him to quit.

"If he doesn't, then I believe that the international community must choose between the people of Pakistan and him," Bhutto said in an interview with Britain's Channel 4 News.

Bhutto, who arrived in the capital Islamabad on Tuesday, was due to meet leaders of smaller parties on Wednesday — though several have been detained.

She has not yet mobilised her people power on the streets, but said her party will stage a protest rally in the garrison town of Rawalpindi next to Islamabad, on Nov.9.

The United States and Britain were joined by the 27-nation European Union in urging Musharraf to release all political detainees, including members of the judiciary, relax media curbs, and seek reconciliation with political opponents.

The EU said Musharraf should stick to a pledge to step down as army chief this month and hold elections in January.

The Commonwealth, a 53-nation group of mainly former British colonies, called a special ministerial meeting in London next week to discus the state of emergency in Pakistan.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Kasım 2007, 22:43