Nawaz Sharif wants judges restored by Monday evening

August 23rd, 2008 - 7:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Aug 23 (IANS) Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) head Nawaz Sharif Saturday set yet another deadline, Monday evening, for its senior ruling coalition partner Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) to restore judges sacked by former president Pervez Musharraf last year.”We’ll be free to take our decision if the judges were not restored by Monday evening,” Sharif told mediapersons after meeting a group of PPP leaders who called on him at his Lahore residence.

He said the PPP should take a firm decision in this regard and should announce it by Monday evening and, if they failed to restore the judges, PML-N will decide whether to stay in the ruling coalition or not.

He said this was for the first time that PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari had not fulfilled his promises. “This is regrettable that the promises were not met,” said Sharif.

PML-N spokesman Siddiqul Farooq said the party will hold a meeting in Lahore Sunday to discuss options before it.

“Yes, we have the option of parting ways… we are being pushed to the wall and that may be the only option if PPP again failed to restore the judges,” Farooq told IANS.

Before the February elections PPP and PML-N had signed the declaration that the judges would be restored within 30 days of the government formation. But the PPP, after forming the government with allies including PML-N, refused to restore the judges.

After talks with Sharif in June, Zardari agreed to restore the judges but again PPP failed to do so.

Musharraf, before his election as president in November, had sacked more than 60 judges of the superior courts for refusing to take the allegiance oath.

Political experts say the ruling coalition is heading for a split as PPP does not seem very keen to restore the judges fearing the suspended Supreme Court chief justice, Iftikhar Chaudhry, might open cases against Zardari and other PPP leaders.

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