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All actions legal, says court

world Updated: Nov 24, 2007 01:19 IST

PTI
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Pakistan Supreme Court stacked with judges hand-picked by President Pervez Musharraf today upheld the emergency imposed by the military ruler as well as the suspension of fundamental rights.

A 10-member bench headed by Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar threw out two petitions challenging the emergency and the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) and seeking the reinstatement of deposed Supreme Court judges.

Musharraf issued an order this week to amend the Constitution to bar any further legal challenges against the emergency.

The apex court bench endorsed all steps taken by Musharraf since the imposition of emergency on November 3. Delivering the verdict, Dogar said the situation in Pakistan warranted the proclamation of emergency by the Army Chief.

The military ruler sacked all judges of the apex court, including Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry who refused to endorse the emergency. The apex court currently comprises judges who took oath under the PCO.

Attorney General Malik Qayyum said the Supreme Court had validated Musharraf's decision to take the "extra-constitutional" step of imposing emergency. The judges said terrorism was threatening the country's security and the judiciary had been "over-stepping its Constitutional limits," according to Qayyum.

A seven-member bench headed by Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar threw out two petitions challenging the emergency and the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) and seeking the reinstatement of deposed Supreme Court judges.

The apex court bench endorsed all steps taken by Musharraf since the imposition of emergency on November 3. Delivering the verdict, Dogar said the situation in Pakistan warranted the proclamation of emergency by the Army Chief.

Attorney General Malik Qayyum said the Supreme Court had validated Musharraf's decision to take the "extra-constitutional" step of imposing emergency.

The Supreme Court ruling came a day after it dismissed the last legal challenge to Musharraf's re-election in uniform clearing the way for him to become a civilian ruler.

Pakistani media said Musharraf must now ensure a smooth transition to complete civilian democracy following the removal of all legal hurdles in the way of his second term. "All legal hitches in the way of Gen Musharraf shedding his uniform now seem to have been removed by the post-Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) court," the Dawn said in an editorial.