US backs Pakistan restoring judge

Washington says move will allow Islamabad to get back to fighting Taliban and al-Qaeda.

    Thousands of lawyers and opposition supporters celebrated the move to restore Chaudhry [AFP]

    In depth


     Why Pakistan cares about Chaudhry
     Pakistan diary: Gilani's move

    Sensitive to the perception that US pressure had forced the hand of Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan's president, Clinton said the "Pakistanis themselves resolved the difficulties" without any US threat or demand.

    But over the weekend, Clinton had called Zardari, who had repeatedly reneged on promises to restore Chaudhry, as well as Nawaz Sharif, the main opposition leader who had thrown his weight behind Chaudhry and whose followers had threatened to march on the capital.

    Aid cut threat

    A senior state department official said earlier that Clinton, in her calls, raised the prospect that US legislators could back away from US economic aid for Pakistan because of the turmoil.

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    "Zardari will soon be in a hole - not only from Nawaz's pressure but also the lawmakers'."

    BIGMEL1981, KL, Malaysia

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    Chaudhry's reinstatement defused a potential violent confrontation between security forces and thousands of protesters as Sharif called off the opposition's "long march".

    But fears remained over the country's security and the battle against the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

    On Monday, Pakistani officials said a bomber killed at least eight and wounded 17 at a bus terminal in the city of Rawalpindi.

    The head of the country's interior ministry said it was unclear whether the bomber deliberately targeted the terminal, or if the explosives had detonated accidentally.

    Also on Monday, fighters torched more than a dozen vehicles carrying supplies meant for US and Nato troops in Afghanistan, the second such assault in northwest Pakistan in two days.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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