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Tussle between executive and judiciary in Pak

world Updated: Oct 16, 2010 01:01 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times
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In a midnight drama in Pakistan the Supreme Court convened on the night of Thursday, and on the next day accused the Zardari government of trying to sabotage the judiciary. Analysts fear that the executive and the judiciary are about to clash with the result that the Zardari government may be sent packing.

In response to the chief justice's remarks, the information minister and law minister of the government on Friday categorically stated in a press conference, in Islamabad, that they had no such intention and that there “was a conspiracy afoot to unseat the government.” Information minister Qamar Zaman Kaira told newsmen that the government “was playing on the back foot,” while law minister Babar Awan warned that the “stage was being set for a change of govermment.”

The midnight drama started on Thursday night when judges of the Supreme Court convened an extraordinary session and continued its meeting into the small hours of Friday in response to rumours that the government was about to pull the plug on the judiciary. This would be done, it was said, with the notification being withdrawn under which Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and his fellow judges were restored to their positions by the government after being dismissed by the Musharraf government.

This incident comes as fears grow of an all out confrontation between the judiciary, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, and the executive led by President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani.