‘Pakistan parliament to restore judges in its own way’

April 27th, 2008 - 2:06 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pervez Musharraf

Islamabad, April 27 (IANS) Pakistan’s parliament will decide the fate of the deposed judges as parts of a package, a member of the ruling coalition’s joint committee set up for the purpose says. “We want an independent judiciary and we are not concerned about individuals,” The News Sunday quoted the member from the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) as saying.

He said it had been agreed to fix the tenure of the chief justice as was done in the 1970s. Thus, Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, sacked after President Pervez Musharraf declared an emergency in November, will be given just one more year in office after he is restored in office.

A committee of four senior apex court judges would be formed to exercise most of the powers that “one man” was previously using, the member added.

“We don’t want to do things piecemeal. We will have an independent judiciary in which everybody has trust and faith,” the member said.

He also disagreed with committee head and Law Minister Farooq H. Naek that the panel Friday finalised a report on restoring the judges that was to be presented for a decision to PPP co-chair Asif Zardari and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif.

“There are still a number of points on which agreement is to be worked out in a couple of days,” said the member, a confidant of Zardari.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani’s advisor on interior affairs Rehman Malik meanwhile left Karachi for Dubai to brief Zardari on the talks over the judges.

Naek is also likely to fly to Dubai for the same purpose. They will return to Pakistan with Zardari in a day or two.

“As a result of the package, the judiciary will not only look independent but would also be actually free and sovereign. In principle, everybody agrees that parliament is supreme, therefore, it should be free to exercise its power,” the PPP member said.

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