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Poll proves country wants judges' reinstatement: Chaudhry

Sacked SC Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry says poll results prove that Pakistan wants reinstatement of the deposed judges.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, Islamabad
UPDATED ON FEB 21, 2008 04:03 PM IST

Pakistan's sacked Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has said the election results proved that the country wanted the reinstatement of the deposed judges, an issue which is top on the agenda of former premier Nawaz Sharif's PML-N.

Amidst reports that he would soon be freed from house arrest, Chaudhry has vowed to march to his office to resume his duties as soon as he is released.

The former top judge, who has been detained along with his family in his official residence here since President Pervez Musharraf proclaimed emergency on November 3 last year, said, "The moment I am freed I will march to my office in the Supreme Court of Pakistan and assume my job."

He said the whole country had demanded the reinstatement of the deposed judges and this had been vindicated by the results of the February 18 elections.

Insisting that he was still the constitutional and legal Chief Justice, Chaudhry told The News that if he was restricted, he would hold his court in an open field along with other judges of the apex court who were sacked by Musharraf after refusing to endorse last year's emergency.

Since the opposition Pakistan People's Party and the PML-N emerged as the two largest parties in the general election, there have been reports that the Interior Ministry was considering the release of lawyers and judges detained during last year's emergency.

PML-N chief and former premier Nawaz Sharif has pledged to work for the reinstatement of all deposed judges.

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