Pakistan facing uncertainty as second deadline for restoring judges approaches Bernard Hibbitts at 6:00 PM ET
[JURIST] Pakistani ministers and officials scrambled Sunday as a second deadline for restoring judges ousted by President Pervez Musharraf in November loomed with little prospect of being met. An aide to former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who has pressed hard for the reinstatement [JURIST report], was quoted by AP as saying that an "acceptable solution" would be worked out by party leaders still in London after talks that began late last week, but JURIST's Pakistan correspondent says that with Sharif scheduled to return to Pakistan Sunday morning a deal on a parliamentary resolution [JURIST report] with his coalition partners in the Pakistan People's Party by May 12 is unlikely. Responding to a Sharif suggestion that police could escort the judges back to work under a simple executive order, Information Minister Sherry Rehman told AP that such a move risked a "political and constitutional crisis." Musharraf has also let it be known that he would oppose a restoration on those terms, and might even seek a Supreme Court stay against such an order were it issued. AP has more.
Pakistani Law Minister Farooq Naek said Friday that the governing coalition was unlikely to meet the May 12 deadline [JURIST report]. JURIST's Pakistan correspondent says that if the deadline passes without agreement Sharif is likely to step out of the coalition cabinet.
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