Brighter Days Ahead for Judges in Pakistan
The newly elected Prime Minister of Pakistan, Yusuf Raza Gillani, has already taken steps to liberalize the government’s treatment of Pakistan’s lawyers and judges, despite the fact that he has not yet been sworn into power. Gillani, a member of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), was a strong supporter of Benazir Bhutto and is a leader in the political opposition to President Pervez Musharraf.
In his acceptance speech following his nomination, Gillani stated his intention to immediately free the legal professionals and political prisoners that Musharraf had placed under house arrest after attempts to declare his presidency unconstitutional. Pakistani officials moved quickly to release the judges, including former Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, beginning Gillani’s political program before he has even taken office.
Gillani also plans to facilitate a UN investigation into the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, whose family contends that Musharraf’s administration had a hand in her death.