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Pakistan lawyers protest senior ruling party stance on deposed judges

[JURIST] Members of the Pakistan lawyers' movement [JURIST news archive] rallied Thursday against the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) [party website] and party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari for failing to reinstate judges deposed after the declaration of emergency [JURIST report] by President Pervez Musharraf [official profile; JURIST news archive] in November 2007. Among the deposed judges are a number of justices of the Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website], including former Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry [JURIST news archive]. Speakers at the protest, including prominent lawyers' movement leader Hamid Khan, urged the PPP and the Pakistani government to implement the conditions of the Murree Accord [News backgrounder], and indicated that the movement would not accept judges who had been appointed as a result of the declaration of emergency. From Pakistan, the News has more.

Last week, the reconstituted Supreme Court of Pakistan upheld Musharraf's declaration of emergency rule and the ouster of the judges [JURIST report]. Days before the judgment, Pakistani Supreme Court Bar Association President Aitzaz Ahsan [JURIST news archive] strongly criticized US policy on Pakistan [JURIST report], including its refusal to condemn the declaration of emergency rule. In June, members of the lawyers' movement concluded a "long march" protest [JURIST report] from Lahore to Islamabad, calling for the reinstatement of the dismissed judges. Earlier that month, the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz called for Musharraf's impeachment [JURIST report] and released a "charge sheet" outlining misuse of presidential authority, including the dismissal of the country's superior court judges.

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