Thursday, October 28, 1999 Published at 12:39 GMT 13:39 UK
World: South Asia
Sharif meeting vetoed
Mr Axworthy met Mr Sharif's party members, but not the deposed prime minister.
Pakistan's army ruler has vetoed a face-to-face meeting between Commonwealth foreign ministers and the deposed Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif.
They were told that he did not want to talk on the phone.
BBC correspondent Owen Bennett-Jones says that presumably he would have preferred a face-to-face meeting.
The delegation leader, Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy, said they had been unable to obtain "direct verification of his health and legal status."
Decision in two weeks
The Commonwealth ministers have been in Pakistan to investigate whether to permanently suspend the country's membership following this month's military take-over.
The delegation had been seeking a commitment from Pakistan to restore civilian rule.
But General Musharraf said he could not give any assurance as to when democracy would return.
He said his priorities were stabilising the economy, strengthening the Pakistani Federation and introducing "certain electoral reforms".
Mr Axworthy said a timetable for democracy would have helped avert full suspension, but indicated that it was by no means a foregone conclusion.
The delegation will report back to a Commonwealth summit in South Africa in two weeks.
"I don't know where my father is being kept."
"They are not letting my mother go anywhere or to talk to anybody, and still the telephone lines are suspended."
Mr Sharif hinted that he feared for his father's safety.
"The Commonwealth has been denied to speak to my father in person. Is there any valid reason for that, why they have not been granted an audience in person with my father?"