Sharif, Zardari lunch date in London to restore judges

May 8th, 2008 - 1:33 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Nawaz Sharif
By Muhammad Najeeb
Islamabad, May 8 (IANS) Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif, leaders of the main partners of Pakistan’s ruling coalition, are scheduled to meet over lunch in London Thursday to discuss the fate of judges sacked by President Pervez Musharraf when he imposed emergency Nov 3 last year, official sources said. Sharif, head of his own faction of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Nawaz), is already in London where his wife underwent knee surgery. Zardari, chief of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), left for the British capital Wednesday night.

Zardari and Sharif had met in Dubai last week and agreed to form a committee for recommendations on the framework to reinstate more than 60 judges.

Representatives of the PPP and PML-N in the legal committee tasked with preparing a roadmap for the restoration of deposed judges agreed Wednesday night on the text of a draft resolution for their leaders to approve.

“Last night coalition party members and their lawyers finished their task,” Law Minister Farooq H. Naek told reporters here.

As the last marathon session ended close to midnight, there were clear signs of differences among senior lawyers on modalities to reinstate the judges as members of the committee dispersed in a rather pessimistic mood.

“That is why the final decision on the text of the resolution and the mode of implementing it has been left to the party heads,” the law minister said.

Differing opinions between two constitutional experts - Supreme Court Bar Association president Aitzaz Ahsan and former minister Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, who is considered to be Musharraf’s man - on how to implement the resolution to reinstate the judges led the committee to refer the issue to party heads along with the text of the resolution.

Naek said that it was decided during the Dubai talks that the matter would be sent back to the top leadership of the two coalition partners to take a decision.

Now Zardari and Sharif will look into whether, when and how the resolution will be tabled in the parliament.

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