Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has condemned President Pervez Musharraf's imposition of emergency rule.
In an interview with VOA, Mr. Sharif demanded General Musharraf restore the constitution, reinstate deposed Supreme Court justices, and hold elections as scheduled in mid-January.
The former Pakistani prime minister called the emergency rule de facto martial law and urged the people of Pakistan to rise up against Mr. Musharraf.
Nawaz Sharif served as Pakistan's prime minister in 1999, before being ousted by General Musharraf in a military coup. He was sentenced to life in prison, but General Musharraf allowed him to go into exile under a deal in which he promised to stay out of Pakistan for 10 years.
Mr. Sharif has since vowed to return to Pakistan and organize a political challenge to Mr. Musharraf.
His last attempt to do so in September resulted in his deportation, despite a Supreme Court ruling granting Mr. Sharif the right to come home from exile.