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New Call for Reinstatement of Pakistan Appellate Judges

Posted Feb 21, 2008 8:57 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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After parliamentary elections that appear likely to result in the ouster of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, there have been renewed calls for the reinstatement of dozens of appellate judges he removed from office last year.

However, it is far from clear that this will actually happen, reports the Washington Post. As discussed in earlier ABAJournal.com posts, Musharraf suspended the country's constitution and imposed what many considered martial law on Nov. 3 of last year. As part of that program, he reportedly removed from the bench more than 60 appellate judges, including Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry of the Pakistan Supreme Court, who has been under house arrest.

Meanwhile, a prominent lawyer remains, at last report, under house arrest in Lahore. However, supporters carried Aitzaz Ahsan, president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, outside yesterday, before he voluntarily returned to his home. He is calling for demonstrations March 9 if suspended appellate judges aren't back at work by March 8, and is being promoted by supporters as a possible prime minister under the expected new regime, reports the Chicago Tribune.

"Parliament can think they can ignore [the judiciary problems], but the lawyers of Pakistan are not going to ignore it," he says. "We will march on Islamabad from all directions."

Additional coverage:

The Times of India: "Pakistan's real heroes ready for the long fight"

Daily Times: "Aitzaz defies govt, emerges from detention"

The Hindu: "Sharif firm on restoring judges"

Agence France-Presse: "Pakistan's anti-Musharraf lawyers say fight continues"

The International News: "The judges issue"

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