Pakistan judges to return through act of parliament: Sharif(Lead)

May 2nd, 2008 - 9:24 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Nawaz Sharif
By Muhammad Najeeb
Lahore, May 2 (IANS) All deposed judges of Pakistan’s Supreme Court will be restored to their posts through a parliamentary resolution May 12, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif announced Friday. Addressing a press conference here after his party’s Central Working Committee meeting, Sharif said: “The deposed judges will be restored May 12, through a resolution, to their November 2 position.”

Sharif’s party, which shares power with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), said his party was clear that the judges had to be given back their original positions. “There will be no compromise on this.”

Sharif said that his party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, had agreed to take power with the PPP only on the condition that the sacked judges would get back to their posts within 30 days of the government formation.

In a reference to President Pervez Musharraf, he said the new Pakistani government would undo “the acts of the black day of Nov 3 when a dictator imposed emergency in the country”.

He said that Musharraf dismissed judges for his personal gains but now all such acts would be undone by the ruling coalition.

Sharif thanked PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari and the PPP, dispelling impressions that the two parties were at loggerheads over the fiercely independent sacked judges.

“I am thankful to Zardari and I have no doubt (about) his sincerity (vis-a-vis) the sacked judges.”

Earlier, both the parties had decided to restore the superior court judges by April 30. Musharraf sacked them Nov 3 last year while imposing emergency.

Sharif said that on April 25 he reached Islamabad to meet Zardari. But the PPP leader had to leave for Dubai where his two daughters live with their paternal aunt.

Sharif said that the next day “I sent my three party leaders to Dubai but they could not succeed in talks and I had to go there to settle the judges issue.

“I am glad that Zardari discussed the judges issue with an open heart and I found him committed on the judges restoration issue.”

He said that he does not like to discuss internal matters in any other country. “But we had no other option but to hold talks in Dubai where Zardari was attending domestic issues.”

Sharif was highly critical of President Musharraf, who dismissed Sharif’s government in October 1999 and sent him into exile to Saudi Arabia.

“Call him Musharraf, not president,” he told a journalist, adding that Musharraf was an “illegal and unconstitutional president”.

“Let me (make it) clear that we will continue (our) efforts to rid the country of Musharraf,” said Sharif.

He said a five-member team of lawyers comprising Aitezaz Ahsan, Khawaja Haris, Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim, Hafeez Pirzada and Mian Raza Rabbani would give a final shape to the draft resolution over the judges. This would be moved in parliament on or before May 12.

He said that politicians and MPs were welcome to give their suggestions to the committee. Sharif said that in case of disagreement among the committee members, the final decision would be taken by the party leadership.

Earlier, Sharif told his party colleagues that his party would quit the cabinet but continue to support the PPP government if the deposed judges were not restored to their posts by May 12.

Alluding to Musharraf, Sharif said that more than 60 judges were sacked just because of one person as they were hearing a case that could have gone against the president.

According to a party source, Sharif also told his colleagues that after restoring the judges, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz will seek to remove President Musharraf.

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