Pakistan party talks on restoring judges fail despite US intervention

[JURIST] Talks between Pakistani party leaders meeting in London to discuss a parliamentary resolution to restore superior court judges ousted by President Pervez Musharraf under his proclamation of emergency last November collapsed Sunday despite last-minute intervention by a US envoy [PTI report]. US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Richard Boucher [official profile] met separately with Pakistan People's Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Pakistan Muslim League-Nazaz (PML-N) leader and former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif but was unable to bridge the gap between them. Sharif stayed on in London Sunday but is now returning to Pakistan. He had originally announced after talks with the PPP in Dubai last month that the judges would be restored May 12 [JURIST report], but that deadline is now certain to be missed. The two parties continue to disagree on the terms of the reinstatement and what to do with replacement judges sworn in by Musharraf under his Provisional Constitution Order.

JURIST's Pakistan correspondent says that with the failure of the talks Sharif is likely to step out of Pakistan's coalition cabinet. The reaction of Pakistan's lawyers' movement to the missed deadline is expected to be sharp.

 

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