Pakistan’s Supreme Court has reinstated the country’s top judge Iftikhar Chaudhry, sparking scenes of jubilation. It is a blow to Pervez Musharraf who ordered his suspension in March. The court called that move “illegal” and quashed all charges against the judge. “Go Musharraf, go,” cried crowds outside the tribunal.
The independent-minded Chief Justice has become a symbol of resistance to the president’s rule. He was suspended after allegations of misconduct but the judge’s supporters argue it was politically motivated. They claim he was removed over fears he would be an obstacle to the president’s ambitions to win a new term in office.
Pro-Chaudhry protests have turned violent, with dozens killed. President Musharraf is also under pressure amid militant violence after the army raided Islamabad’s Red Mosque. Today he said he would respect the court’s decision.