Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Musharraf will not reinstate deposed judges: aides

Dictatorship Watch, November 27, 2007

Islamabad (PTI): Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf is expected to end the emergency and restore the Constitution soon but he will not reinstate the deposed judges of the Supreme Court, two of his close aides have said.

Attorney General Malik Qayyum and former Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, both considered close to Musharraf, said the President may lift the emergency, withdraw the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) and restore the Constitution within a few days, but he will never accept the opposition's demand to reinstate deposed judges.

Musharraf is ready to accept every demand of the opposition parties, except the reinstatement of sacked Chief Justice Iftikhar M Chaudhry and other judges of the pre-emergency apex court, Qayyum and Ahmed told 'The News'.

Ahmed said restoring the judiciary is impossible for Musharraf now as it was the "only problem" for him.

Qayyum said: "It is impossible now as the present Supreme Court has made it clear in its verdict in the case against imposition of emergency and promulgation of PCO that the judges who didn't take oath under the PCO are no longer judges. The President couldn't go against the orders of Supreme Court."

Asked if the demands of former Premier Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party (PPP) for restoration of the Constitution and ending emergency also meant the reinstatement of the judges, Qayyum said "no."

"Even when the Constitution will be restored and emergency will be lifted, the deposed judges could not be restored as it will be against the November 23 verdict of the present Supreme Court," he said.

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