[JURIST] Ousted Pakistani Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry [JURIST news archive] and all other judges removed by President Pervez Musharraf last November after his declaration of emergency rule [PDF text; JURIST report] will be reinstated on May 12, former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif [JURIST news archive] said Friday. Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) [party websites] reached an agreement on reinstating the ousted judges on Thursday after extensive talks [JURIST reports] between the two parties in April and May. Sharif also said that Pakistan's national assembly would pass a resolution endorsing the reinstatements the same day. BBC News has more. JURIST's Pakistan correspondent notes that Sharif was surprisingly silent on the exact terms of the reinstatement despite local media reports Thursday suggesting that judges appointed under Musharraf's Provisional Constitution Order would be retained and Chaudhry would in practice be forced to retire "early" after finishing his formal five-year tenure in 2010 instead of continuing to age 68, the current judicial retirement age.
The coalition government, sworn in in March after parliamentary elections earlier this year, has vowed to establish a fully independent judiciary [JURIST reports]. One of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani's first actions upon taking office was seeking Chaudhry's and other ousted judges' immediate release from house arrest [JURIST report].