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Pakistan govt re-appoints 8 sacked judges

Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad | August 27, 2008 18:53 IST

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Under pressure to reinstate 60 judges sacked by former President Pervez Musharraf [Images], Pakistan government on Wednesday re-appointed eight of them, a move seen as being selective by the influential lawyers' movement even as there was no word on restoration of deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar M Chaudhry.

The eight deposed judges of the Sindh High Court took oath in the Governors' house in Karachi, a day after Asif Ali Zardari, presidential nominee of the ruling PPP, adopted a conciliatory tone and apologised to estranged ally PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif while asking his party to rejoin the government.

Sharif pulled out of the ruling coalition on Monday accusing Zardari of reneging on the promise to restore the judges sacked by Musharraf during emergency rule last year. Anwar Zahir Jamali was appointed the new Chief Justice of the Sindh High Court.

An official notification said the deposed judges of the other provincial High Courts would be reinstated soon as well. However, there was no indication on whether former Chief Justice Iftikhar M Chaudhry will be reinstated.

Musharraf axed the judges when it appeared that Chaudhry would rule against his re-election in uniform. The former military ruler resigned last week to avoid impeachment by the ruling coalition.

A Law Ministry official in Islamabad [Images] said the restoration of the eight judges signalled the beginning of the process to reinstate all deposed members of the superior judiciary. The government decision was dubbed by lawyers as a 'political stunt' and a conspiracy to divide the judges and lawyers.

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