Mil News Commonwealth re-admits Pakistan

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Pakistan is to be re-admitted to the Commonwealth, five years after it was suspended because of a military coup.
The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group praised progress towards democracy by President Pervez Musharraf, who seized power in 1999.

But it said after its meeting in London that it would continue to monitor "continuing concerns".

Diplomats said the UK and Australia wanted to reward President Musharraf for helping fight al-Qaeda.

Pakistan was suspended from the 53-nation group's decision-making councils after Gen Musharraf ousted the country's elected prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

The Commonwealth Secretary General, Don McKinnon, made the announcement about its re-admittance at a news conference on Saturday.

The nine-member action group said the Commonwealth noted "continuing concerns in regard to the strengthening of the democratic process in Pakistan", and it would continue to monitor progress.


It said it expected President Musharraf to stand down as head of the army by the end of this year, as he has promised.

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