Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Media accused of pro-protester bias in Ferguson

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackiling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackiling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment

Read more

FOCUS

Republicans block Obama's bid to hike minimum wage

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users take on 'Ice Bucket Challenge' to fight ALS

Read more

ENCORE!

From Paris's Liberation to 'arresting' art in Avignon

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Ferguson riots: Pressure mounts on Obama

Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Reporter’s IS captors taunted family, asked for €100m ransom

    Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • Hollande is ‘nobody’s president’ says former French minister

    Read more

  • Turkey’s Erdogan names foreign minister Davutoglu as next PM

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16.7bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • Special report: Supplying Ukraine’s soldiers on the front line

    Read more

  • Israeli air strike kills three top Hamas commanders

    Read more

  • France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms

    Read more

  • Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Former Irish PM Albert Reynolds dies at 81

    Read more

  • Former Femen activist detained after fighting veiled woman

    Read more

  • Thailand coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha voted prime minister

    Read more

  • Brazil’s Silva launches bid after Campos plane crash death

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Top judge challenges corruption on triumphant return

Latest update : 2009-03-24

Chief justice Iftikar Chaudhry has urged the country's judiciary to root out endemic corruption after making a triumphant return to the Supreme Court. On Monday, President Asif Ali Zardari called for national reconciliation.

AFP - Pakistan's reinstated top judge Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry Tuesday called on lawyers to wipe out corruption in the judiciary on his first day in court for 16 months.
   
Chaudhry, greeted with a standing ovation, was restored by the government on Sunday in a dramatic U-turn that has boosted hopes of an end to a debilitating crisis in the nuclear-armed nation.
   
Millions of Pakistanis hope his return, after former military ruler Pervez Musharraf sacked him in 2007, will cleanse the judiciary, but experts warn that he faces huge challenges to bring about legislative and institutional reform.
   
"It is a matter of great satisfaction and a day of thanksgiving to Allah the almighty that after a long period the original court has been restored," Chaudhry told a courtroom packed with lawyers who rose to applaud his arrival.
   
"There is rampant corruption in this institution (judiciary). This cannot be eradicated without the help of lawyers. You people should come forward to point out such cases," he said.
   
"I will request all of you, being officers of this court, to put your house in order first," Chaudhry said.
   
His vehicle was showered with rose petals after swinging into the supreme court compound under heavy police escort as lawyers waved Pakistani flags and welcome banners, and activists released coloured balloons into the sky.
   
The independent-minded Chaudhry and 60 other top judges were sacked by Musharraf, who feared the supreme court would disqualify him from contesting a presidential election while remaining head of the military.
   
The announcement on March 16 that the government would reinstate the deposed chief justice was calculated to end a major crisis between opposition leader Nawaz Sharif and the deeply unpopular President Asif Ali Zardari.
   
The decision was made under intense Western pressure. In the wake of the move, Sharif scrapped a mass protest march on the capital, Islamabad.
   
Political leaders have since called for reconciliation but no concrete agreements have been announced and Sharif, the most popular politician in the country, says Chaudhry's restoration should be followed by further reforms.
   
A date is still pending for the supreme court to hear a government appeal looking to overturn a February 25 ruling that disqualified Sharif and his brother Shahbaz from contesting elections.
   
Neither has a deal been reached on ending Zardari's direct rule in Pakistan's most powerful province of Punjab after the court decision forced Shahbaz Sharif to leave his post as chief minister.
   
Chaudhry, who shies away from the media and refuses to make political statements, has a reputation as an upstanding, independent-minded judge who clashed frequently with the former Musharraf regime.
   
Sworn in on June 30, 2005, one of his most famous moves was to take up the cases of missing people allegedly held by Pakistani security forces or handed over to the United States on terror charges.
   
A small group of relatives of the missing held banners outside court on Tuesday saying "release immediately our valuable citizens and loved ones."
   
Chaudhry ordered the security services to produce several of the missing in court before he was sacked by Musharraf.

Date created : 2009-03-24

COMMENT(S)