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Pakistan PM vows to press for reinstatement of purged judges

[JURIST] Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani [official profile] told parliament Saturday that he will 'work for the reinstatement' of superior court judges purged by President Pervez Musharraf [official profile; JURIST news archive] last fall. The commitment was made in Gilani's first major policy speech on terrorism since taking office. He also promised to abolish criminal codes still in place from British colonial rule and strengthen regulation of religious schools. Absent from the speech was any mention of Musharraf or whether Gilani would seek the president's resignation or impeachment.

Gilani heads the new coalition government formed by the Pakistan People's Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-N. The government has vowed to establish a fully independent judiciary and work to reinstate judges [JURIST reports] ousted by Musharraf's November declaration of emergency rule [proclamation, PDF; JURIST report]. On Monday, Gilani ordered the release [JURIST report] of former Pakistani Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry [JURIST news archive] and several other judges from months-long house arrest. Pakistani Attorney General Malik Qayyum has said reinstating the ousted judges would require a constitutional amendment [JURIST report] with a two-thirds majority vote. AP has more and provides additional coverage.

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