Pakistan bar leader criticizes US silence on ouster of judges

Pakistan bar leader criticizes US silence on ouster of judges

[JURIST] Pakistani Supreme Court Bar Association President Aitzaz Ahsan [profile; JURIST news archive] strongly criticized the Bush administration's Pakistan policy during a visit to the US this past week, arguing that its refusal to condemn President Pervez Musharraf's November 2007 declaration of emergency law [text, PDF; JURIST report] and his concomitant ouster of superior court judges is harming relations between the countries. On Tuesday, Ahsan addressed [recorded video; press release] the New York City Bar Association [association website], recounting the events leading up to the judges' ouster and criticizing US officials for voicing "not a whimper of protest." On Thursday, Ahsan said in a Washington Times interview that Pakistani support for US anti-terror efforts were waning in light of US silence on Musharraf's actions. BBC News has more. The New York Law Journal has additional coverage.

Ahsan has long been one of the most visible faces in the Pakistani lawyers movement [JURIST news archive] pressing the government for a more independent judiciary. Last month, Ahsan and other lawyers held a "long march" in support of the ousted judges' reinstatement, beginning in Lahore and ending [JURIST reports] in Islamabad.