Pakistani President to lift state of emergency by Dec. 16

Pervez Musharraf said he would restore Pakistan's constitution before January elections and lift state of emergency by Dec. 16.

"I am determined to lift the emergency by Dec. 16," Musharraf said in a televised address to the nation. "The elections, God willing, will be held free and transparent under the constitution."

Hours after the former military strongman was sworn in as a purely civilian president, Musharraf appealed to two former prime ministers recently returned from exile to drop their threats to boycott the Jan. 8 parliamentary elections.

"Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif have come back, and a level playing field has been given to (their parties). Now it is the responsibility of these and other parties to prepare for the elections, and participate fully," he said.

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Author`s name Angela Antonova