Musharraf lifts emergency rule in Pakistan

On December 15, Pervez Musharraf appeared in a nationally televised address in Pakistan to announce the end of emergency rule which had been invoked on November 3, 2007. Musharraf said that his objective of saving Pakistan from being destabilized had been achieved. However, a ban that prevents media from making live broadcasts has been left in place.

Benazir Bhutto, a former Prime Minister and key opposition member, said that this is “an important step forward,” however, more is need to achieve a “restoration of democracy” in Pakistan.

“We welcome President Musharraf’s lifting of state of emergency and the revoking of the provisional constitutional order,” Amadeu Altafaj Tardio, a spokesperson for the European Commissioner for Development & Humanitarian Aid told reporters at a briefing on Monday.

“It is essential for all restrictions on fundamental rights and freedoms to be lifted in advance of the parliamentary elections,” Tardio continued. “We thus appeal to the government to take further steps to enhance confidence in the political process.”

Pakistan is scheduled to hold a general election on January 8, 2008.

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