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Restoration of Chief Justice

23 July, 2007

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A 134-day long judicial crisis that haunted the entire nation has come to an end as a 13-member bench of the Supreme Court reinstated the suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudry, and set aside the presidential reference against him.

" The chief justice is reinstated", as soon as Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday, head of the 13-member bench declared at a heavily-packed court room at Supreme Court building on a warn evening, thousands of lawyers and political activists raised vociferous slogans of " Allah-o-Akbar", " long live Iftikhar Chaudry", and " military rule unacceptable".

Justice Chaudry was suspended by the military ruler General Pervez Musharraf on March 9 on the charges of misconduct and misuse of authority.

The supreme court bench in its short judgment rejected all the charges against Justice Chaudry, who re-assumed his charge after the apex court`s judgment.

President General Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz have announced to accept the apex court`s judgment with its letter and spirit.

Analysts believe that the apex court`s judgment will increase pressure both on General Musharraf and Justice Chaudry as various key issues like uniformed president, and presidential elections from incumbent assemblies, are likely to be moved to the Supreme Court.

The judgment has also left prime minister under immense pressure to resign, though, he had nothing to do with this reference. " Someone has to sacrifice now. And in my opinion, he (Aziz) is the most suitable scapegoat at the moment", Ayaz Ameer , a senior political analyst said.

Here are some questions questionsrn
1)Is this judgment beginning of a new judicial era in Pakistan?
2)Is this destination of the lawyers` struggle or should they go ahead for restoration of civilian rule?
3)Who should resign, the president or the prime minister?
4)What lesson should the political parties learn from lawyers` struggle?

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