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Fired Pakistan judges getting jobs back

  • Story Highlights
  • PPP-led coalition government will restore ousted judges May 12
  • Reinstating the judges was a key promise of the new ruling coalition
  • Musharraf ordered 60 judges November last year arrested
  • At the time Supreme Court was considering if Musharraf could run for third term
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From CNN's Zein Basravi
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Friday that the ruling coalition on May 12 will reinstate judges who were ousted by President Pervez Musharraf last year.

The date was announced a day after Sharif -- a leading member of the new coalition -- wrapped up talks with coalition partner Pakistan People's Party leader Asif Zardari in Dubai on how to restore the judges.

Sharif said at a news conference in Lahore, Pakistan, that a parliamentary resolution would be introduced to restore the judges.

The coalition government had vowed to reinstate the judges within 30 days of taking office -- a deadline that expired Wednesday night. Sharif said he was disappointed that the deadline was missed.

In the wake of an emergency order that Musharraf issued last November, at least 60 judges were arrested -- some jailed and others placed under house arrest.

The arrests included nearly all of the justices on Pakistan's Supreme Court, which was set to rule against the legitimacy of Musharraf's third term in office.

Shortly after taking office last month, the PPP-led coalition government ordered the release of all the judges, but the two leaders had disagreed over how the judges would be restored to office.

Sharif's party -- Pakistan Muslim League-N -- believed a simple resolution followed by an executive order would be enough.

But Zardari's party wanted a constitutional package to go along with the resolution to prevent judges from being fired again in the future.

The failure of the coalition government to fulfill its promise of restoring the judges within 30 days had local media and many analysts questioning whether the coalition was fracturing, but both sides insist it is not in jeopardy.

The PPP -- the party of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto who was assassinated last year -- won the majority of seats in February's parliamentary election ousting Musharraf's ruling party from power.

Zardari, Bhutto's widower, and Sharif, lead the coalition's two main parties. A PPP spokesman said Thursday that it was agreed that Sharif would announce the details of the agreement. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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