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Pak suspension more in sorrow than in anger: UK

"It is very clear that this is not being done to 'punish Pakistan'...," said British Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

world Updated: Nov 23, 2007 11:31 IST

Endorsing Pakistan's suspension from the Commonwealth, Britain has said that it was done "more in sorrow than in anger" and it was done to up hold the values of Commonwealth.

"It is very clear that this is not being done to 'punish Pakistan'. It is being done to uphold the values of the Commonwealth and to say to Pakistan: "We want to welcome you back as a full member as soon as you restore those basic principles of democracy and the rule of law," British Foreign Secretary David Miliband told Sky News Television on Thursday night.

Speaking to Sky in the Ugandan capital, where the Commonwealth's biennial heads of government summit is taking place, Miliband said: "The constitution needs to be restored in Pakistan but also political prisoners need to be released. The media restrictions need to be lifted."

"This decision has been made more in sorrow than in anger," he said

A Foreign Office spokesman in London said Britain backed CMAG's stance. "The UK fully supports the decision by CMAG. Pakistan has taken some steps towards meeting the conditions but regrettably not enough. We call on Pakistan to implement all steps in full."

On his part, Miliband said "there's real unanimity within the Commonwealth and in the wider international community. President Pervez Musharraf needs to resign as chief of the army. He needs to restore constitutional order. He needs to release political prisoners - further releases on the back of the 2000 that were announced on Tuesday. He needs to lift restrictions on the media, all as a prelude to free and fair elections on January 8 which are in the interests of Pakistan and in the interests of the wider region."

First Published: Nov 23, 2007 11:25 IST