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Sacking judges an act of tyranny: Nawaz

Talks between the senior leaders of Pakistan's ruling coalition partners are still on to break the deadlock.
PTI | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON MAY 01, 2008 05:24 PM IST

Pakistan's ruling coalition partners PPP and PML-N on Thursday made some progress in talks in Dubai to clinch a deal for reinstating deposed judges, as former premier Nawaz Sharif described their removal by President Pervez Musharraf as "an act of tyranny".

With the 30-day deadline for restoring the judges expiring on Wednesday, senior leaders of the two parties, including Sharif and PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, are trying hard to sort out their differences on modalities.

Some progress was made during the talks, but there were unresolved issues, Sharif said adding, he expects the negotiations to conclude today.

The PML-N is insisting on restoration of judges by an executive order whereas the PPP is in favour of a constitutional package.

"The restoration of judges should not be linked to any bill or any constitutional package," Sharif told reporters.

Describing the removal of judges as "an act of tyranny," the PML-N leader said: "We must honour the judges who did not take an oath of allegiance to Musharraf and the way to honour is by bringing them back to their courts with respect."

Asked if the impasse over restoring the judges had shifted the focus from attempts to impeach Mushrraf, Sharif replied, "We think that a man who has done this very blatant wrong to the country should have been impeached."

"I think we cannot ignore the fact that it is Musharraf who is really responsible for ridiculing the judges, for throwing the judges out of the courts and then putting them under house arrest. So such a man needs to be taught a lesson, there is no doubt about it," he said.

Sharif flew in here on Tuesday night for in-camera talks with Zardari, who had two days of inconclusive negotiations on the issue with PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif.

"This is not an issue about an individual, it is an issue about an institution of the judiciary. The judiciary cannot be strengthened till the deposed judges are reinstated," the former premier said.

Sharif said he hoped the PPP-PML (N) coalition would remain intact and he was opposed to the "forces" that were trying to break their alliance for their own "vested interests".

Zardari had also made it clear that there was no threat to the coalition government. "We have agreed in principle to reinstate the deposed judges but still finalising certain legal issues," he told reporters here yesterday.

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