Musharraf vows elections will go ahead

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The Independent Online

Pakistan's suspended parliamentary elections will go ahead by February, the government promised today.

President Pervez Musharraf's declaration of a state of emergency had thrown plans for them to be held in mid-January into doubt, and drawn international criticism.

However, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, president of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Q party, said the vote would be delayed at most until February.

President Musharraf later confirmed the elections would be held in February, indicating the country's state of emergency will be short-lived.

Gen Musharraf is under growing pressure from the United States and his domestic opponents to end the state of emergency declared on Saturday and hold elections in January, as originally planned.

State-run Pakistan television flashed the news that he had announced that the elections would be delayed by not more than one month after a meeting of his National Security Council.