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Pakistan Reinstates 8 Deposed Judges


Pakistan's government has restored eight judges who were among dozens fired by former President Pervez Musharraf last year under emergency rule.

The eight renewed their oaths of office Wednesday before assuming their positions as High Court judges in the southern province of Sindh.

But Pakistani lawyers have criticized the government's decision to reappoint the judges. They say the move harms their demands for the restoration of all 60 deposed judges and does not include the re-instatement of Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry.

The move comes two days after former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif quit the government over differences about the judges with his ruling coalition partner, Asif Ali Zardari. Mr. Sharif said he withdrew because Zardari's party broke a promise to restore the deposed judges.

Mr. Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-N party was the second largest in the coalition, but its departure is not expected to bring down the government. The ruling Pakistan People's Party has enough smaller allies in parliament to govern.

Zardari had been reluctant to restore the judiciary and the chief justice. If reinstated, the justices could take up challenges to a legal amnesty granted to PPP leaders on corruption charges.

Mr. Musharraf fired the judges last November during a state of emergency in an effort to avoid legal challenges to his rule. The former president resigned last week to avoid impeachment.

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

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