Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon today urged the Pakistani Government to restore the rule of law.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has urged the Pakistan government to immediately release political detainees, including a UN Human Rights expert and restore democracy.

The UN chief, in a statement on Monday, expressed his ”strong dismay” at the detention of hundreds of human rights and opposition activists, including the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief Asma Jehangir.

He urged the authorities to immediately release those detained, to lift restrictions on the news media and to take early steps for a return to democratic rule, and appealed to the Pakistani government to hold the parliamentary elections as scheduled.

As far as statements condeming the actions of a member state go, this is fairly strong–and even more so because Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Munir Akram currently holds the rotating presidency of the powerfull G-77 bloc of developing countries. Akram, not surprisingly, is upset with Ban’s outspokeness.

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