Pakistan's Top Justice Returns to Jubilation

Reinstated judge calls for end to corruption
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2009 8:21 AM CDT

Pakistan's chief justice triumphantly returned to the bench today, reports the BBC, as supporters showered him with rose petals outside the supreme court in Islamabad. Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry was suspended by former president Pervez Musharraf during the 2007 state of emergency. Last week current president Asif Ali Zardari finally fulfilled a campaign pledge to reinstate him after a lawyers' movement and supporters of ex-PM Nawaz Sharif joined in massive protests.

The president's reluctance to reinstate the chief justice is believed to stem from fears that the courts might invalidate the amnesty Musharraf offered Zardari, long suspected of corruption, when he returned from exile. Outside the courthouse today Chaudhry called on celebrating lawyers to fight corruption, even in the judiciary: "I will request all of you, being officers of this court, to put your house in order first." (More Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry stories.)

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