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Emergency looms on Pak

world Updated: May 08, 2007 03:22 IST

The spectre of emergency looms large in Pakistan. On Monday, there was fresh turmoil after opposition parties and human rights groups reacted strongly to Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz’s threat the previous night that the government might impose emergency in the country to rein in continuing protests over the removal of its top judge Iftikhar M Chaudhry in March.

Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Monday temporarily barred the Supreme Judicial Council from hearing allegations of misconduct and abuse of office against Chaudhry.

Prime Minister Aziz said “the (Pakistani) Constitution provides provisions for imposition of emergency and has laid down certain conditions for it but this decision depends on the situation in the country”.

The statement followed the tremendous reception Chaudhry received while travelling to Lahore during the weekend to address a meeting.

“We condemn any plans to impose emergency. It seems that government (is) running away from its commitment to hold free and fair elections,” Faratullah Babar of the PPP said.

The PML (Nawaz) said no conditions existed for the imposition of emergency.