Pakistan coalition still seeking agreement on reinstatement of judges

[JURIST] Pakistan's ruling coalition on Tuesday failed to reach an agreement on reinstating the judges who were ousted last year by President Pervez Musharraf [official website; JURIST news archive]. Officials had originally projected that a plan would be established Tuesday for restoring the judges within the next few days, and Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) [party website] head Nawaz Sharif has threatened to withdraw from the coalition if judges, including former Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry [JURIST news archive], are not returned to office within 24 hours. The negotiations come one day after Musharraf announced that he was resigning from office [press release; JURIST report] in order to avoid impeachment proceeding by the country's parliament. The coalition government is also discussing who will succeed Musharraf as president, but Pakistan People's Party head Asif Ali Zardari [BBC profile] has implied that the presumptive nominee will come from his party. It is not clear yet whether Musharraf will face prosecution for alleged human rights violations committed while in office. DPA has more. The New York Times has additional coverage.

Earlier this month, the coalition government said that it would push to impeach Musharraf because had given a "clear commitment" to step down from office after his party was defeated in parliamentary elections [JURIST reports], but subsequently refused to resign or go into exile, and because be had failed to follow through on a promise to ask parliament for a confidence vote. In June, the PML-N 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. Also in June, PML-N leader and former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif [JURIST news archive] called for Musharraf to be tried for treason [JURIST report], labeling him a traitor disloyal to Pakistan and saying he should be punished for the "damage" that he has done to the country in the years since he led a military coup [BBC backgrounder] and unseated Sharif in 1999.



 

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