PPP may propose judges restoration through Prez Ordinance

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Lahore, May 9 : In order to break the deadlock over the restoration of judges issue, the PPP is learnt to have coined up a proposal to reinstate the judges through a Presidential Ordinance after passage of the proposed resolution by the National Assembly.

PPP leadership is mulling over this option in order to avoid a direct confrontation with the Presidency, which may arise in case of doing the same through an executive order. The PPP leaders also think that restoration of judges through a Presidential Ordinance would also provide a sort of face-saving to President Pervez Musharraf, as he could take the credit that it was actually he who did the 'miracle' in the end.

If sources are to be believed, PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari would put up this proposal before PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif during their round of talks in London beginning today as one of the options to resolve the conflict.

At the talks, the PPP leaders would try to make the PML-N leaders understand the implications of reinstating the judges through an executive order, which "might prove a suicidal course for the ruling coalition in its infancy", reported The Nation.

As per the new proposal, all present judges will stay and deposed judges including Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry would be restored through a Presidential Ordinance that would follow the National Assembly resolution as agreed upon between the PPP and the PML-N in the Murree Declaration.

The proposed Ordinance would also contain a provision to provide a legal cover to sudden increase in the number of judges.

The sources further said that once the judges are restored, other modalities, like the tenure of the Chief Justice, his powers of taking suo moto action, and constitution of benches would be settled later on in the proposed Constitutional package, along with a set of other reforms the PPP wants to introduce in the judiciary to make it independent of the executive branch of the govt.

President Pervez Musharraf too has no objection to the restoration of the deposed judges through an Ordinance, provided the present incumbents are also retained, and a Constitutional package curtailing tenure and powers of the Chief Justice also follows immediately after the proposed Presidential regulation, said the sources.

But, the seeming roadblock in the way of this proposal is that PML-N Leader Nawaz Sharif may not approve it, as his party did not accept Musharraf as a Constitutional President, and also Nawaz would not like to give the credit of judges restoration to the retired General and old foe who dislodged his govt way back in 1999.

But despite all these possible reservations that might be expressed by the PML-N negotiating team, the sources did not rule out the possibility of Nawaz Sharif's yielding to Zardari's suggestion in the greater national interest as he did when he consented to retention of the present PCO judges as a great sacrifice for a greater cause, said the paper.

ANI

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