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Pakistan opposition assails Musharraf constitutional changes

[JURIST] The chairman of one of Pakistan's two leading opposition groups said Sunday that his party would seek to reverse constitutional amendments [JURIST report] unilaterally promulgated by President Pervez Musharraf in association with his lifting of emergency rule [JURIST report] on Saturday. Pakistan Muslim League-N [party website] chief Raja Zafarul Haq said that the PML-N, led by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif [JURIST news archive], would take action in parliament to rescind provisions limiting press freedom and entrenching new superior court judges to replace those effectively ousted when the emergency was declared November 3. Amendments to Pakistan's constitution are traditionally made by parliament, but Musharraf allocated the prerogative to himself under his emergency Provisional Constitution Order [text]. The Revocation of Proclamation of Emergency Order issued Saturday additionally sought to insulate the changes by providing that they "shall not be called in question by or before any court, including Supreme Court, Federal Shariat Court, High Court, any forum or authority, on any ground whatsoever." AP has more.

Rights groups Saturday expressed ambivalence about the lifting of the emergency, criticizing Musharraf's self-accorded impunity, his refusal to reinstate ousted members of the pre-emergency Supreme Court and provincial High Courts and his addition of the restrictive amendments.

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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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