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Deputy attorney general quits in Pak

world Updated: Mar 20, 2007 19:09 IST

AFP
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A Pakistani deputy attorney general and a judge resigned on Tuesday in protest against President Pervez Musharraf's removal of the chief justice, deepening the crisis facing the country's military ruler.

Deputy Attorney General Nasir Saeed Sheikh became the most senior state lawyer to quit amid a wave of resignations by judges and legal figures over the March 9 suspension of top judge Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

"Yes I have resigned," Sheikh told said.

"Under the prevailing constitutional position it is not possible for me to work."

Separately Javed Memon, a senior civil judge in the town of Kotri in southern Sindh province, became the eighth judge to resign over the growing controversy.

Memon had sent notice of his resignation to the registrar of Sindh High Court, a court official said on condition of anonymity.

Five judges resigned in Sindh on Monday, as well as a high court judge in central Punjab province. A civil judge in the central Pakistani city of Bahawalpur and a public prosecutor said they were quitting last week.

Violent protests broke out in Islamabad and Lahore last week over Chaudhry's removal.

Musharraf defended his decision in an interview late on Monday and said he would not impose a state of emergency over the growing unrest, or delay elections due later this year or early next.

Lawyers and hardline Islamic parties have called for further, nationwide protests when Chaudhry appears again before the Supreme Judicial Council on Wednesday.