PPP, PML-N leaders to finalise process of sacked judges' restoration

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Islamabad, Apr.21 : Key leaders of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) will meet here this evening to formalise the process for restoring the 60-odd judges who were sacked by President General pervez Musharraf on November 2, 2007 hours before he declared an emergency across the country.

PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif are due to meet to finalise a draft resolution before it is put to the National Assembly.

"The resolution hopefully will be finalised in the meeting and it will be a major step towards implementing the Murree Accord in letter and spirit," said PML-N spokesman Siddiqul Farooq.

The reinstatement of the judges, including former Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Choudhary, is being seen in certain quarters as a major hostile challenge to President Musharraf and his attempts to prolong his stay in office.

Both the PPP and the PML-N hope to take their Bhurban declaration to its logical conclusion, though there are fears that some of the restored judges could re-open cases that have challenged Musharraf's October re-election by outgoing assembly members.

Sharif appears determined to force Musharraf out of power, as the latter was instrumental in removing him from the office of Prime Minister through a bloodless coup on October 12, 1999. The PPP, on the other hand, is reluctant to force a confrontation with Musharraf.

There have been reports of strains between the coalition partners over the issue, although party officials dismissed that.

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