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Ousted Pakistan judges reject government offer to reinstate all but CJ: report

[JURIST] The Pakistani government offered to reinstate all superior court judges sacked under emergency rule except for ousted Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry [JURIST news archive] but the deposed judges rejected the proposal, according to a report in the Pakistani Nation daily Saturday. The Nation said Peshawar High Court Bar Association President Abdul Latif Afridi revealed the failed compromise at the bar association's general meeting on Friday and cited another lawyer present at the PHCBA meeting as confirming the offer and the judges' reaction. It was not clear exactly when the alleged offer was made or rejected. The Nation has more.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf dismissed 14 Supreme Court judges, including Chaudhry, in the wake of his November 3 declaration of a state of emergency [JURIST report], replacing them with lower court judges seen by many to be more loyal to the president. On Thursday Musharraf pledged to end emergency rule and reinstate the suspended constitution on December 16, but officials said he would not reinstate the ousted justices [JURIST report]. Legal observers in Pakistan have told JURIST that while the country's main political parties are jockeying for position in the upcoming parliamentary elections, neither one is likely to champion the reinstatement of the deposed judges or the larger judicial independence issue, leaving that in the hands of the lawyers movement. The United Nations and some US lawmakers have called for the reinstatement of an independent judiciary [JURIST report] in Pakistan, but press reports have quoted Western diplomats as saying that this is not the official stance of some Western governments which agree with Musharraf that the Chaudhry-led Supreme Court was meddling in Pakistani politics.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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