The Commonwealth’s biennial summit met in Uganda and among its first actions was to suspend Pakistan from the group. Despite an angry response from Islamabad, the leaders gathered in Kampala defended the suspension. “You can be assured that every country that has been suspended will say that we didn’t understand the unique circumstances that prevailed in their country at the time,” commented a spokesperson for the Commonwealth organization. The group insists Musharraf step down as army chief, free judges, restore the constitution and halt further curbs on the media. Their stance is quite different from that of President Bush who continues supporting the Pakistan leader.
An important aspect of the meeting dealt with issues of climate control. The Commonwealth organization set as its goals a 50% reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions below 1990 levels by the year 2050. It is reassuring that a major group is taking a strong stand to confront the Musharraf human rights abuses.