Pakistan Political Parties Deadlocked Over Judge Issue

Pakistani leaders meeting in London in an effort to resolve the conflict regarding the positon of judges fired by President Musharraf have yet to come to an agreement on how to handle the situation. Musharraf sacked judges last fall who opposed him including the head of the Pakistan Supreme Court. Asif Ali Zardari, widow of the slain Benazir Bhutto, is willing to allow the issue to dominate the current situation confronting his nation but Nawaz Sharif, who heads a key political party in the governing coalition, has made return of the judges a key issue. His goal is removal of Musharraf from the presidency and he believes restoring the judges to power will asisst in gaining that goal.

Zardari is no great supporter of Musharraf was wants to avoid a constitutional crisis that might result if the judges are returned to their former positions and attempts are made by Nawaz Sharif to use the power of the judiciiary to remove the president. At this point, Zardari is willing to allow judges appointed by Musharraf to replace those fired to be allowed to continue in office.

As many Democrats today urge Senator Clinton to step down, so do many Pakistanis urge Musharraf to step down and allow their nation to escape a constituional crisis. We suspect neither will walk away from power.

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