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Pak re-entry

Abuja (Nigeria), Dec. 6 (Reuters): The 54-nation Commonwealth is unlikely to re-admit suspended Pakistan until President Pervez Musharraf gives up his military title and his powers to sack parliament, the group’s secretary general said today.

“Both these issues are in contravention of Pakistan’s constitution,” said Don McKinnon, explaining a decision by a Commonwealth summit in Abuja, Nigeria, to ratify Pakistan’s exclusion due to democratic shortcomings.

Pakistan was suspended in 1999 after the military coup which brought Musharraf to power. But some Western members are keen to readmit the country because of its cooperation in a US-led war on terror.

McKinnon said a special ministerial committee dealing with Pakistan had concluded on Thursday that despite some progress, further reforms were needed before re-entry.

“These issues are still outstanding — the fact that President Musharraf is also the general of the army and secondly the authority that he gave himself to dismiss parliament and the government,” McKinnon said.

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