Deposed judges won't be restored in any case: Musharraf

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Islamabad, Feb 5 (UNI) Pakistan President Pervez Musharaf has said the deposed judges would not be restored in any circumstances and a situation will not crop up prompting parliament to restore them since any change in the present status will require two-thirds support in House for such a move.

The president was talking to Geo News exclusively yesterday evening at a local five star hotel where he had come for dinner to a Thai restaurant with his wife Sehba Musharraf, some family members, and a close relative.

To a query, President Musharraf said the presumption of dissolving the next National Assembly in case it opts to restore the deposed judges of the superior courts is out of place. No parliament would like to remove sitting judges of the court.

He disclosed that the Supreme Court would be attaining its full strength soon with two more judges being inducted shortly. ''A two-thirds majority will be needed to amend the Constitution. The incumbent judges are holding their offices in accordance with the constitution,'' the president said.

US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher in a hearing at Capitol Hill had stated that President Musharraf would dissolve parliament if it tries to restore the deposed judges. This act of the president would be in line with the Constitution. However, the president assured that this stage would never come.

To a another query President Musharraf said the turnout in the coming polls was expected to be lower but the government would provide full security to the voters and other people. ''In-fact the candidates bring the voters to the polling stations. I am sure they will succeed in their efforts as the elections are hotly contested,'' he added.

The president was of the view that despite this, it would not be a discouraging turnout. He said the polls would take place on February 18 come what may and the government was fully determined to hold the elections in a free, fair and transparent manner in a peaceful environment.

Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Ehsanullah Khan was also with the president at the dinner.

UNI XC-MS DS1355

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