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Pakistan's Coalition Leaders to Finalize Plan to Reinstate Fired Judges

The leaders of Pakistan's ruling coalition are to meet in Britain in the next days to make a final decision on how to reinstate top judges fired by President Pervez Musharraf.

Pakistan's Law Minister Farooq Naek says Pakistan People's Party leader Asif Ali Zardari and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will discuss the report of a special committee they set up to finalize a draft resolution on reinstating the judges.

Zardari and Mr. Sharif are expected to work out the committee's differences on how to implement the resolution.

Last week, the two leaders agreed to restore the judiciary on May 12 through a parliamentary resolution.

Mr. Sharif has called for the judiciary to be restored unconditionally to what it was before last year's six-week state of emergency. But Zardari has insisted on linking the judges' reinstatement to constitutional reforms.

The proposed reforms would limit the power of top judges and revise President Musharraf's current authority to dismiss government officials.

Mr. Musharraf fired the judges last year after they questioned the legitimacy of his reelection as president while serving as Pakistan's top military officer.

The president's attempts to confront the country's judiciary -- in particular, Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry -- set off a strong opposition movement, culminating in street protests organized by lawyers and judges.