[QODLink]
Central & South Asia
Zardari urges reconciliation
Pakistan's president calls for reconciliation on occasion of Pakistan Day.
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2009 09:48 GMT
Pakistani lawyers celebrated after the government announced it would restore Chaudhry [AFP]

Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan's president, has called for national reconciliation among the country's political parties following the recent restoration of the nation's top judges.

In an address marking Pakistan Day on Monday, Zardari said his government's decision to restore the judges could mark the end of a cycle of dictatorship.

The rule of law and constitutionalism have at times been "trampled by dictators", Zardari said.

But he said the restoration of Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry and other top judges had raised people's expectation that the cycle was ending.

"On this day I urge everyone to work in the spirit of tolerance, mutual accommodation and respect for dissent and invite everyone to participate in the national effort for ... reconciliation and healing the wounds," Zardari said.

Chaudhry was removed in 2007 by Pervez Musharraf, the former president, after he began examining cases that could have threatened Musharraf's legitimacy as he sought a new term in office.

Zardari agreed last week to reinstate the chief justice, after activist lawyers and opposition supporters began a march toward Islamabad, the capital, where they planned to stage an indefinite sit-in at parliament.

Zardari had repeatedly stalled over the issue, apparently due to fears that Chaudhry would examine a deal that granted him immunity from prosecution over corruption claims.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Thousands of Houthi supporters have called for the fall of Yemen's government. But what do the Houthis really want?
New ration reductions and movement restrictions have refugees from Myanmar anxious about their future in Thailand.
US lawyers say poor translations of election materials disenfranchise Native voters.
US drones in Pakistan have killed thousands since 2004. How have leaders defended or decried these deadly planes?
Residents count the cost of violence after black American teenager shot dead by white Missouri police officer.
join our mailing list