Mush may allow judges restoration by two-thirds majority

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Islamabad, Mar 2: Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf may allow the restoration of over 60 deposed judges if Parliament passes that decision by a two-thirds majority, one of his top aides has said.

Categorically denying that the Presidency was conspiring against anyone, a key member of the presidential camp, on condition of anonymity, said the judges' restoration is out of question unless it is done through a Constitutional Amendment. He ruled out the possibility of getting the pre-Nov 3 judiciary restored through an executive order. Talking to The News, Musharraf's top aide, said PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari would not be foolish enough to get the judges restored as demanded by Nawaz Sharif and "some others" as that would be unconstitutional.

Admitting that the PML-Q is history now, he argued that the political fight is now between the Pakistan People's Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-N. He said only time would tell who between the PPP and the PML-N would outshine whom, admitting that Nawaz Sharif has so far played his cards extremely well.

The president's press secretary, Major General (retired) Rashid Qureshi, also said that there is no need to cast aspersions or create doubts on the president's meetings with different persons. Meanwhile, the government has decided to give all deposed judges including Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry their salaries and perks and privileges till their retirement date, though they will not be considered judges during this period, a Geo TV report said.

The deposed judges were set to retire in one to six years period, but the November-3 Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) sent them packing much before it. Sources said salaries of all these judges have been transferred to their bank accounts.


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