Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Violence Turns to Celebration as Judge Reinstated; Pakistan Crisis Prime Minister Bows to Pressure and Releases Supreme Court Chief Justice

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Violence Turns to Celebration as Judge Reinstated; Pakistan Crisis Prime Minister Bows to Pressure and Releases Supreme Court Chief Justice

Article excerpt

Byline: Ed Harris

THE Supreme Court chief justice whose sacking sparked street clashes in Pakistan made his first public appearance today after being reinstated.

Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry was mobbed by supporters, who waved flags and cheered as he made a brief appearance on the balcony of his home in the capital, Islamabad.

His unexpected release came after Pakistan's prime minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani, bowed to mounting pressure, making a dawn announcement that the judge would be sworn back in on Saturday.

Activists said the decision was a triumph for democracy, and the nation's stock market rallied this morning.

Ali Ahmad Kurd, a leader of protesting lawyers, said: "No country can progress without an independent judiciary and the government -- by restoring the chief justice and other judges -- has also realised it, and we think it is a big success." Mr Chaudhry's release led activist lawyers and opposition politicians to drop plans to march on the capital and stage a sit-in at Parliament today.

Nawaz Sharif, former prime minister and head of the largest opposition party, thanked President Asif Zardari and Mr Gilani after the announcement, but suggested his position had been strengthened.

"From here, God willing, the fate of this nation will change," Mr Sharif said, using a microphone from inside his jeep as it was mobbed by supporters. "From here, a journey of development will start. From here, a revolution will come." Meanwhile, there was a reminder of the on-going troubles in Pakistan today when militants torched vehicles and supplies intended for Nato and US troops in Afghanistan, the second such assault in the lawless north west in two days.

Former President Pervez Musharraf fired Mr Chaudhry in 2007 after he took up cases challenging his rule, sparking a wave of protests that helped force the military ruler from office last year. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.