Should Pakistan return to the Commonwealth?
Foreign Secretary David Miliband says Pakistan has made democratic progress and should be re-admitted to the Commonwealth.
He has pointed to the extension of press freedoms and the re-establishment of constitutional rules. New Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gillani, a member of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), whose leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in December, was sworn in last month.
He has promised to cut back on ministers’ perks and re-establish student and trade unions.
Pakistan was suspended from the Commonwealth in November 2007 because of President Pervez Musharraf’s imposition of emergency rule. It had previously been suspended in 1999 as well, after Musharraf seized power in a coup.
Do you think the time is right for it to be re-admitted? Could it be that the organisation — and much of the West in general — has failed to appreciate the dangerous security reality in which the country lives, with large areas of its border regions sympathetic to the Taliban and Al Qaeda?