Musharraf pledges to lift Pakistan emergency rule December 16 Joshua Pantesco at 11:27 AM ET
[JURIST] Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf pledged to lift emergency rule in the country on December 16 in a televised speech [unofficial translation] Thursday delivered after he took the presidential oath of office [JURIST report] as a civilian Thursday morning. Pakistani media quoted Musharraf as saying:
It is my intention to lift the state of emergency from the country on Dec 16, withdraw PCO [Provisional Constitution Order] the same day and hold the general elections as per the announced schedule and according to the Constitution.
Parliamentary elections are slated for January 8. Musharraf made no mention of restoring to office the Supreme Court judges he dismissed when implementing emergency rule [JURIST report] earlier this month.
Musharraf has been under considerable international pressure to end the emergency. On Wednesday, US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack noted [press briefing transcript] that:
we have made it quite clear to [President Musharraf], our view that he should lift the state of emergency well in advance of the upcoming elections which he scheduled for January. Our belief is that it's critical to have that state of emergency lifted in order to have the kind of elections that the Pakistani people can have faith in.
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