[JURIST] Pakistani Minister for Law and Justice Farooq Naek told reporters Friday that the superior court judges the government had returned to office after their November 2007 ouster under then-president Pervez Musharraf's declaration of emergency rule [JURIST report] had been 'reappointed', not reinstated, because Pakistan's constitution [text] does not provide for such a procedure. Naek also rejected [APP report] the latest claim by ousted chief justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry [JURIST news archive] that his removal was unconstitutional. Naek urged members of the lawyers' movement [NYT backgrounder, JURIST news archive] calling for Chaudhry's reinstatement to seek justice in the courts, rather than in the streets.
In December, the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) voted down [JURIST report] a challenge to the constitutionality of the appointment of current Pakistan chief justice Abdul Hameed Dogar. Although Pakistani officials have now restored most of the more than 60 judges ousted by Musharraf, Naek has repeatedly insisted that Chaudhry will not be returned to office [JURIST report] because Dogar was legitimately appointed [JURIST report].