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Pakistani Coalition Partners Fail to Break Deadlock on Deposed Judges


The partners in Pakistan's governing coalition have agreed to continue talks on a stalled plan to reinstate deposed judges past an April 30 deadline.

A representative of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, says coalition leaders made some progress during talks in Dubai Wednesday. But he says differences remain over how to reinstate judges ousted by President Pervez Musharraf last year.

He says Mr. Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari will meet again Thursday to make a final decision.

Zardari's Pakistan People's Party wants to link reinstatement to constitutional reforms - among them, narrowing the powers of top judges, including chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry.

But Mr. Sharif's party wants the judges reinstated unconditionally. He warned Tuesday the fate of the coalition could depend on this issue.

Last November, President Musharraf dismissed roughly 60 of Pakistan's high court judges during a state of emergency.

But Mr. Musharraf's former ruling Pakistan Muslim League party came in a distant third in February's parliamentary elections, and the new coalition government vowed to reinstate the judges within 30 days of taking office.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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