Karachi, May 15 : The Pakistan Government's latest move to create dissension within the ranks of the judiciary by offering to 're-appoint' judges of the high courts, appears to be succeeding partially as the affected judges have started to discuss the merits and demerits of accepting the new oath offer.
According to the Dawn, through different emissaries, including some judges of the superior judiciary who are currently serving on the bench, the government contacted the deposed judges of the Lahore and Sindh High courts and offered to re-appoint them if they were willing to take a fresh oath.
"We were told that our seniority and other benefits would remain as if we have been in continuous service," said a judge, but added that the fear was that "if we don't play ball in the future, someone could challenge our re-appointments on the grounds that the rights of the judges who did take oath under the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) of November 3, 2007, had been violated.
According to sources, this was the reason that the initial response of some of the affected high court judges appeared to be in the negative.
However, some other judges were 'heartbroken' with the attitude of the governing party, which seems to be "too beholden to the president and those who have validated the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) to deliver on the restoration promise".
"They won the election on February 18. Even if they wanted to restore the judges through a constitutional amendment, they have now had three months to draft it. But they haven't," said another judge.