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Japan urges Pakistan to restore democracy, sign CTBT

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    Japan urges Pakistan to restore democracy, sign CTBT

    Tokyo, November 15: Japan on Monday said it will consider lifting of sanctions against Pakistan if Islamabad showed “progress” on restoration of democracy and signing of the CTBT. Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono told General Yaqub Khan, special envoy of Pakistan’s Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf, that lifting of sanctions, imposed after last year’s nuclear tests, could be considered if Islamabad showed progress on immediately bringing back democracy and signing the CTBT without waiting for national consensus.

    The Japanese minister also urged Pakistan to resume talks with India, official spokesperson and director of Asian affairs bureau Masaya Fujiwara told reporters.

    Kono told Khan that if the military regime agreed with the CTBT it should go ahead and sign the treaty without waiting for a national consensus, although popular support will be better, Fujiwara said. Khan, foreign minister during past military rules, said his country will take and independent decision on the CTBT without waiting for the Indian stance.

    Khan, handpicked by Gen Musharraf to justify the army coup to key nations, told the Japanese Foreign Minister that though the military regime did not regard “the latest political change as desirable” it was “unavoidable”. He, however, said any timeframe for return of democracy could not be set in a “hasty manner” without endangering Gen Musharraf’s “plans for democracy”.

    During his 45-minute meeting with Kono, Khan said, “we care for world’s concern and will try to regain the trust after weeding out the bad things in Pakistan. We will prove ourselves by our deeds and get back international recognition.” He claimed there was no martial law in Pakistan. Freedom of press was not curtailed, a cabinet has been formed with civilian members, law and order was intact, he said, adding all the steps taken are democratic “in a visible way”.

    From here, Khan goes to China—his last stop. He earlier visited the US and France

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