Ex-CJ promises punishment for judges’ ouster

Islamabad, May 25:

Pakistan’s deposed chief justice said today officials who bowed to President Pervez Musharraf’s declaration of emergency rule and ouster of judges last year would be punished.

Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry made the comments in the city of Faisalabad, where thousands of lawyers and other activists gathered to whip up support for a new round of protests aimed at pressuring the country’s new coalition government to restore the jurists.

Chaudhry told the lawyers in Faisalabad that the Supreme Court had passed an order aimed at countering the president’s actions on November 3, the same day the emergency was declared.

In an apparent reference to Musharraf and the judges he installed after the purge, he promised that anyone who violated the court’s order “will be punished no matter how big he is and whatever position he is attaining.”

Chaudhry did not specify what he meant by punishment. The heated rhetoric came hours after the Pakistan People’s Party offered some details of a plan to reinstate the judges and change the constitution in order to reduce Musharraf’s powers.