Pakistani coalition closer to reinstating sacked judges

April 23rd, 2008 - 2:27 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pervez Musharraf

Islamabad, April 23 (IANS) Pakistan’s ruling coalition has moved a step closer to restoring Supreme Court and High Court judges sacked by President Pervez Musharraf by setting up a committee to work out the modalities. Addressing a joint press conference after a meeting here Tuesday, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chair Asif Zardari and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif said there was “complete harmony” among coalition partners on all issues and the deposed judges would be reinstated.

Zardari, Sharif and Pakhtoon leader Asfandar Wali Khan had signed a declaration March 9 at Bhurban declaring their intention to restore the sacked judges. Bhurban is a hill station in Punjab, located 13 km from Murree.

“Both the leaders, however, were cautious in their statements, indicating that although there was no deadlock, some differences remained on the mode of implementation of the resolution likely to be tabled in the National Assembly in a few days,” the Dawn newspaper reported Wednesday.

Speaking at the press conference, Sharif said: “We fully stand by the Bhurban Declaration and we will implement it in letter and spirit.”

“The reason for the joint press talk was largely to dispel a perception created by some media reports after Monday’s meeting that there was a deadlock on the issue of judges’ restoration and that the coalition government was about to fall apart,” the Dawn noted.

“All reports about deadlock are wrong,” Sharif said, adding that the wishes of “some elements” who wanted to see the coalition government collapse would not be fulfilled.

“The coalition partners have taken a serious notice of the disinformation campaign undertaken by vested interests and strongly repudiated the same,” said a joint statement read out at the press conference.

“The coalition partners hereby declare that there is complete harmony on all issues, including the issue of the restoration of deposed judges in accordance with Bhurban Declaration.

“In today’s discussion, proposals put forward to implement the Bhurban Declaration were further scrutinised and it was decided that a committee of coalition partners will give final shape to these proposals in consultation with the legal fraternity,” the statement added.

“Both Sharif and Zardari favour reinstatement of deposed judges, but the PML-N chief wants unconditional implementation of the Bhurban Declaration while Zardari desires that the judges’ restoration should be part of a constitutional package (that includes) judicial reforms,” the Dawn said.

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