Mar 16, 2009

Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry restored as Chief Justice of Pakistan

Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani early Monday morning announced reinstatement of the deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and other judges. “I restore the deposed chief justice and others according to the promise made by me and the President,” Gilani said in a televised address to the nation. The announcement, in light of the directive of President Asif Ali Zardari, met the main demand of the political parties and the lawyers’ community. He said, “A notification to this effect is being issued now.” He said Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry would replace Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar, who retires on March 21. Gilani said and pledged to “continue the politics of reconciliation.” The deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was removed from service by former President Pervez Musharraf on March 9, 2007, sparking a wave of protest that led to his resignation from his office on August 18, 2008.The prime minister also announced reinstatement of other judges of the Supreme Court and said the number of judges for the apex court has already been increased through legislation to accommodate the reinstated judges.The prime minister also announced that the federal government would file a review petition in the Supreme Court seeking reversal of the order of disqualification of Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif, and addressing all issues in light of the Charter of Democracy. “I invite them to move forward along with all political forces for the implementation of the Charter of Democracy,” Gilani said.He asked the provincial governments to lift the Section 144 immediately and release the arrested persons. He said the PPP had made a lot of contribution to the lawyers’ movement and rendered numerous sacrifices. He said shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto had pledged to reinstate the deposed Chief Justice. Gilani said President Asif Ali Zardari also pledged to do the same. Gilani recalled that soon after securing a heavy mandate from the parliament he had announced the release of the detained judges and also restoration of their emoluments. The prime minister said the decision was taken in consultation with the allies.Gilani also greeted Chairman of Pakistan People’s Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, lawyers, political workers, and civil society on this auspicious occasion and asked them to celebrate the occasion in a befitting manner.

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