Pakistan Prime Minister Wants Judges Released

Newly elected Pakistan Prime Minister Youseaf Reza Gillani, who obtained the largest ever vote for leadership in Pakistan history, demanded the immediate release of judges who were imprisoned by President Musharraf last fall when he initiated martial law. “I order the release (of the) detained judges of the higher judiciary” and these words were greeted amid thunderous applause and a standing ovation from the National Assembly. He also wanted to pass a unamimous resolution from the Lower House of Parliament that would seek a United Nation’s investigation into the death of Benazir Bhutto and another resolution of apology for her murder. Although some judges have been releasd by Musharraf, others, including the chief justice, have not.

Nisar Ali Khan, parliament leader of the coalition partner, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, urged Gillani to make changes in foreign policy. “We hope the Pakistan People’s Party led coalition government would make an independent and soveriegn foreign policy.” He undoubtedly expressed the view of many members of parliament that Pakistan must shift from a reliance only on military action in northwest regions to one of diplomacy regardless of whether the United States approves such a policy.