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UN chief and Pakistan envoy clash

New York, November 7, 2007

The UN secretary general has clashed with the Pakistani ambassador to the UN over President Pervez Musharraf's imposition of emergency rule.

Ambassador Munir Akram complained that Ban Ki-moon was meddling in Pakistan's affairs by saying the country should return to democratic rule.

But after meeting Akram, Ban repeated his concerns.

He joined Pakistan ex-PM Benazir Bhutto in saying Gen Musharraf should resign as army chief and hold elections.

Bhutto, who has been negotiating a power-sharing deal with the president, said on Tuesday that she had no plans to meet Gen Musharraf.

She is currently in Islamabad to discuss the crisis with other opposition leaders.

Ban relayed to reporters what he had told Akram at their meeting.

"I again expressed my deep concern and regret [at] what had happened in Pakistan.

"I also urged strongly that the Pakistani government should return to democratic rule and procedures as soon as possible," Ban said.

He called for the release of political leaders and lawyers detained during the crisis in Pakistan and for restrictions on the media to be removed.

The UN Security Council has been silent on Pakistan, in contrast to the stance it has taken recently over Burma, says the BBC.

The Security Council's mission is to deal with threats to international peace and security.




Tags: Benazir Bhutto | United Nations |

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