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Musharraf defends reference against CJ

world Updated: Aug 01, 2007 20:18 IST
Kamal Siddiqi
Kamal Siddiqi
Hindustan Times
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President Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday defended the reference he had filed against Pakistan Chief Justice Iktikhar Chaudhry, but insisted at the same time that he held judges in highest esteem and hoped for "harmonious ties" with Chaudhry in future.

Speaking at a relaunch of the state owned Pakistan Television, Musharraf said it had been his "constitutional obligation" to forward the reference against Chaudhri to the Supreme Judicial Council.

But he added that he was completely opposed to any confrontation with the judiciary. In his view, the four pillars of the state - the judiciary, legislature, the executive and the media - "need to coexist with harmony" within their particular domains.

"I accept the judgement of the judiciary and honour it," he declared, referring to the Supreme Court decision which reinstated the Chief Justice.

"Personal egos must not be a part where national interests are involved," Musharraf told his audience. He revealed he had personal relations with the Chief Justice now restored to his former position. "We have family ties and hope to maintain the same harmonious ties in future," he said.

He said he did not want the judiciary to become politicised, and hoped that all matters that came up before it would be decided on merit. The President said Pakistan was passing through turbulent times in terms of fighting terrorism, and the media, especially PTV, was required to play an important role in this battle.

He said the media should deny terrorists space to project their views. "The media must not convert terrorists into heroes. Report the news, but deny space to them," he said.

He urged the media not to demoralise the nation and avoid reporting in a way that creates despondency and despair amongst the people.

President Musharraf also said it was media's responsibility to project the true spirit of Islam before the world, and point out that terrorists were not the true representatives of Islamic teachings.