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Pakistan's Musharraf Says Emergency Rule Saved Pakistan

  • VOA News

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says he imposed a controversial state of emergency as a last resort to save Pakistan from destruction.

Mr. Musharraf says a conspiracy had been planned by unspecified people to derail the country's transition to democracy.

The Pakistani leader has pledged that upcoming elections will be free, fair and transparent. He spoke on Saturday in a nationally televised address hours after lifting his country's state of emergency that was imposed on November third.

Opposition politicians and election observers have said Mr. Musharraf's moves already rigged the election in favor of his supporters. Some smaller parties have boycotted the election in protest, but the two main opposition parties have said they will participate in the poll.


Earlier today Pakistan's attorney general (Malik Mohammed Qayyum) told VOA (correspondent in Islamabad) that rights of individual expression will be restored, and some media restrictions might be lifted.

On Friday, President Musharraf made last-minute changes to the constitution to legalize his moves to stay in power and silence his opponents. The amendments legalized the forced retirement of judges who refused to accept emergency rule, address election procedures and eliminate a two-term limit for prime ministers.

Mr. Musharraf also put the country's nuclear arsenal firmly in government control, handing it over to the National Command Authority.

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