Pakistan party leader warns lawyers of possible martial law return Deirdre Jurand at 10:40 AM ET
[JURIST] The co-chair of Pakistan's governing Pakistan People's Party (PPP) [party website] pleaded for calm Thursday with members of the nation's vocal lawyers' movement, cautioning that "hidden forces" could seize on any perceived unrest to reimpose martial law and destroy democracy in Pakistan. Speaking to members of the People's Lawyers Forum (PLF), Asif Ali Zardari [BBC profile] reiterated his support for constitutional reforms to establish a fully independent judiciary and for reinstating judges ousted [JURIST reports] by President Pervez Musharraf when he declared emergency rule [JURIST report] last November, suspending the constitution in the face of what he asserted was a usurping judiciary led by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. When a coalition government of parties opposed to Musharraf took power after elections earlier this year, its leaders, including Zardari, pledged to restore the judiciary [Al Jazeera report], but they have not agreed on how to do so and have already missed two self-imposed deadlines for restoration. IANS has more.
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