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Musharraf's political party calls for removal of Pakistan judge

The All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) [official website], the political party of former president Pervez Musharraf [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] demanded that Islamabad High Court [official website] Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui [official biography] be removed from office and that his decisions be declared void. The request for Siddiqui's removal follows his order [JURIST report] that Musharraf to be held in custody for two weeks until his next hearing. APML spokeswoman Aasia Ishaque stated [Pakistan Today report] that Siddiqui was a political figure affiliated with the rival political party Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) [official website] and had contested the 2002 election on a JI ticket. Additionally, she stated that he had earlier served as the lawyer for Abdul Aziz [Economic Times report], one of the top clerics of the mosque Lal Masjid, which Musharraf had ordered a military operation against in 2007. Musharraf's next hearing is scheduled for May 4.

Musharraf escaped the court premises on Thursday after an arrest warrant [JURIST report] was issued against him on charges of detaining judges during his time in office. He was found and arrested [JURIST report] on Friday, and put under temporary house arrest after appearing before a magistrate. Along with the arrest warrant, Judge Shaukat Siddiqui also canceled the bail [JURIST report] that was granted to Musharraf last week. Also last week the Pakistan Supreme Court delayed [JURIST report] Musharraf's treason hearing until this week to give his lawyers enough time to prepare a response to the allegations. In March Human Rights Watch (HRW) [official website] urged [JURIST report] Pakistan to hold Musharraf accountable for alleged human rights abuses upon his return to the country.

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