Amid jubilant scenes outside his home, Pakistan’s newly-reinstated top judge has formally returned to his post.
Pomp and ceremony were supreme as supporters of Iftikhar Chaudhry celebrated victory in their battle to see him back as Supreme Court chief justice. Dismissed by then President Musharraf in 2007, the judge has publicly thanked lawyers and activists who had battled on his behalf. It is less than a week since the government bowed to demands to restore him, defusing a crisis that had threatened to turn into violent confrontation. Pakistan’s current President Asif Ali Zardari had originally promised to reinstate Chaudhry. But he feared the judge could wage a vendetta against Musharraf that could also threaten his own position. Zardari’s rival Nawaz Sharif had backed Chaudhry’s campaign. The chief justice’s return will cool political tension between Sharif and the president but friction is likely to persist.