PPP, PML-N in ‘crucial’ stage of talks on judges: minister

May 7th, 2008 - 5:07 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pervez Musharraf
By Muhammad Najeeb
Islamabad, May 7 (IANS) The committee formed by Pakistan’s ruling coalition allies Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to suggest a framework for the tricky issue of restoration of judges has reached a breakthrough, said Law Minister Farooq H. Naek. The committee met Tuesday night and will again meet Wednesday evening for “crucial and decisive” talks, Naek, who is also the convenor, said.

The third round of talks was held Tuesday night at the house of Supreme Court Bar Association president Aitzaz Ahsan. Claiming a breakthrough, Naek said the committee had made significant progress on the issue.

PML-N leader Shahbaz Sharif, Petroleum Minister Khawaja Asif, Senior Minister Nisar Ali Khan, advocate Khawaja Haris, Senator Raza Rabbani and Interior Affairs Adviser Rehman Malik were among those who attended the four-hour meeting.

“We will be able to make public the outcome of the meeting after Wednesday’s meeting,” Naek told reporters.

However, another participant at the meeting said differences of opinion persisted over the restoration of the 60 judges sacked by President Pervez Musharraf Nov 3 last year, when he imposed emergency, and their tenure.

The committee was set up after talks between PPP and PML-N last week in Dubai. Members were appointed with consensus of both the parties.

PPP says that it wants the restoration of judges through a constitutional package that would include fixing tenure of the chief justice and enhancing their age of service from 65 to 68. But PML-N wants that judges be restored through a parliamentary resolution.

The traditional rivals are together in a coalition government and in March signed a declaration under which the judges had to be restored before April 30. The date was extended to May 12 because the two parties could not agree on a framework.

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