A senior interior ministry official said an additional 1,000 police officers have been called in for deployment to reinforce 3,000 already on duty in Islamabad.
|Musharraf is expected to to seek re-election as |
president-in-uniform this year [EPA]
Shahid Shamsi, a spokesman for Pakistan's main alliance of Islamic parties, said: "We will carry the holy book in our hands and assemble outside the Supreme Court building to offer Friday prayers and register our protest over action against the justice."
He said the government would be responsible for any trouble if it tried to keep the political leaders and workers from demonstrating.
TV show banned
Further concerns have surfaced after reports Chaudhry was manhandled by police.
Police prevented Chaudhry from attending a hearing on his case on Tuesday at the Supreme Court.
Newspapers said he was roughed up, and one, Pakistan's Nation, printed a photograph showing burly policemen bundling Chaudhry towards the open door of a government car, with one officer leaning on his head.
Javed Iqbal, the acting chief justice, has summoned several police officers to appear before him on March 19 to explain their alleged mistreatment of Chaudhry.
|Pakistani lawyers torch posters of Musharraf|
and chant anti-government slogans [AFP]
Musharraf on Thursday said he would accept any verdict by the council, which could include sacking Chaudhry.
At a public meeting in Gujranwala, in the eastern Punjab province, he said: "I promise to you that the judiciary will take [a] decision. We do not need to interfere in this."
"They can give whatever decision they like ... I will accept that."
The government has not made public any details of the complaints against Chaudhry and insists its decision to have a five-judge panel chaired by Iqbal examine the allegations is non-political.
Chaudhry has pursued several cases embarrassing to the government, and opposition parties claim authorities are seeking a more compliant judiciary ahead of parliamentary elections, due within a year.
Musharraf is also expected to seek re-election as president-in-uniform from the outgoing assembly.