The judges former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf sacked after imposing an emergency last year will definitely be restored, Asif Ali Zardari, co-chair of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) that leads the country's ruling coalition, has said, without specifying the timeframe for this.
Zardari, his party's candidate for the president's post, also said Musharraf would only be given conditional amnesty for his various acts of omission and commission while in office.
"We will definitely restore the judges but after some debate in parliament," Zardari told The News.
"It is difficult to debate this issue for one day and I am not sure if the judges could be restored on Monday (Aug 25)," he added, referring to the deadline set by coalition partner Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
Pakistan's ruling coalition appeared on the brink of collapse on Sunday with the PML-N staying away from a crucial meeting of a committee that was to draft a resolution to be tabled in parliament on reinstating the judges.
The PML-N had linked its participation to the PPP laying down a definite timeframe for restoring the judges and extending the date of the presidential election, due Sep 17.
The News, however, noted that despite Zardari's statements, the judges' issue is "still not the main bone of contention" between him and PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif.
"The main issue is still the indemnity for Musharraf," it said.
According to the newspaper, the PPP has "assured" the PML-N that Musharraf "will give in writing to parliament that he did many wrong things in the past and that he will not participate in politics in the future. After getting his written assurance, parliament will provide him indemnity.
"The PML-N has refused to become part of any indemnity for Musharraf at any cost," the newspaper said.