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Pakistan lawyers block streets demanding restoration of judges

[JURIST] Lawyers blocked streets in the major cities of Pakistan [JURIST news archive] on Thursday to demand the reappointment of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry [JURIST news archive] and other judges removed last year [JURIST report] by former President Pervez Musharraf [JURIST news archive]. Aitzaz Ahsan [profile], president of Pakistan's Supreme Court Bar Association, vowed [Reuters report] that the blockades would continue until Chaudhry is reinstated. The protests follow Wednesday's reappointment of eight ousted judges [JURIST report] to the Sindh High Court [official website] in Karachi - a development that leaders of the nationwide lawyers' movement [AHRC backgrounder; PBS report] described as a "conspiracy" to undermine support for total reinstatement. AFP has more.

Pakistan's coalition government dissolved [JURIST report] Monday after former prime minister Nawaz Sharif [party profile; JURIST news archive] withdrew his Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) party [party website] over the failure to reach an agreement with the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) [party website] that would reinstate the ousted judges. Although PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari [CV; JURIST news archive] has asked Sharif to return to the coalition, he has refused [party press release; Times of India report], saying, "We prefer national interest at the cost of personal interest."

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