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Freed Chaudhry launches Pakistan campaign for reinstatement of ousted judges

[JURIST] Ousted Pakistani Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry [JURIST news archive], who was released from virtual house arrest [JURIST report] last week on the orders of recently-elected Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani [official profile], returned to his hometown of Quetta on Monday for the first of a series of trips and speeches to build support for the reinstatement of superior court judges purged by President Pervez Musharraf [official profile; JURIST news archive] last fall. The newly-elected coalition government formed by the Pakistan People's Party and Pakistan Muslim League(N) has vowed to establish a fully independent judiciary, saying it will work to reinstate the ousted judges, a pledge renewed [JURIST reports] by Gilani in an address to parliament Saturday.

Chaudhry and the other judges were effectively dismissed on November 3 [JURIST report] after Musharraf suspended the country's constitution and declared emergency rule [proclamation, PDF]. Chaudhry was effectively put under house arrest November 5 [JURIST report], when an Army major locked him in his residence and took the keys. Chaudhry was ousted as the country anticipated a Supreme Court ruling [JURIST report] on whether Musharraf had been eligible to run for re-election as Pakistan's president while still army chief. AP has more.

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