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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pervez Musharraf lifts state of emergency in Pakistan

RIA Novosti

15/12/2007 14:00 ISLAMABAD, December 15 (RIA Novosti) - Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has lifted the state of emergency in the country and restored the Constitution in full, local television said Saturday.

The president imposed a state of emergency on November 3 after he was reelected by parliament in October and the Supreme Court suspended official results over opposition complaints that a military official could not be an elected head of state under the Constitution.

He also suspended the Constitution, banned broadcasting for independent television channels and brought troops into main cities, citing an increase in militant activity.

With the end of the state of emergency the country begins a full-fledged political campaign for the forthcoming parliamentary election due January 8, 2008.

Musharraf was sworn in for a second presidential term in Pakistan on November 29 as a civilian leader, a day after he stepped down as military commander. He handed over the military post to a hand-picked successor, his close ally General Ashfaq Kayani, a U.S.-educated former intelligence chief. The move ended Musharraf's 46-year military career.

The president has ruled the country since seizing power via a military coup in 1999, retaining the post of military commander. In 2004, he pledged to relinquish military command, but had until late November failed to fulfill the promise, citing instability in the country and a persisting threat from Islamist radical elements.

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