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Pak judges reinstatement step towards reconciliation: PPP

world Updated: Mar 17, 2009 09:12 IST

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The ruling Pakistan Peoples Party on Monday said the government's decision to reinstate judges deposed during the 2007 emergency had created new space and opportunity for strengthening democracy in the country.

Though the decision was made by President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani under pressure from lawyers and the opposition PML-N, the PPP sought to portray its move as an opportunity for political reconciliation. Key players

PPP spokesperson Sherry Rehman, who quit as information minister last week over differences with Zardari on handling media coverage of opposition protests, said," The restoration of the deposed judges by the democratically-elected government has provided a unique opportunity for the whole nation to move forward with a renewed spirit of reconciliation."

It's a great day for the supremacy of democracy in Pakistan, she told members of the international media in Islamabad.

Referring to Gilanis announcement about reinstating the deposed judges, including former Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, Rehman said the move had provided new space and opportunity for strengthening democracy in Pakistan.

Following the painful bitterness of the politics of confrontation, the country now needs a healing touch, she said. She added that the PPP-led government had done well by responding to the people's voice.

Gilani had announced the reinstatement of the judges as opposition PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif was marching towards Islamabad with thousands of supporters for a protest on the issue. Sharif called off the protest after the government's announcement. Rehman said: There is a need to end politics of confrontation and polarisation. All democratic political forces of the country need to learn to accommodate and demonstrate flexibility on national issues.

The PPP's central executive committee will meet on March 19 to take stock of the political situation in the country. The meeting will be presided over by party co-chairman and Zardari.

Sources said the PPP's future relationship with the PML-N is expected to be discussed at the meeting.