Musharraf defends decision to remove chief justice

March 18, 2007 03:47


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Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf on Saturday defended his decision to remove Pakistan's chief justice and insisted that he had no personal differences with the former top judge. Musharraf has faced a growing crisis since March 9, when he suspended Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry over unspecified allegations that the judge had abused his authority. The move angered many lawyers, retired judges and opposition leaders, who consider Musharraf's action an effort to remove a strong-willed judge ahead of parliamentary and presidential elections - prompting violent protests Friday and Saturday. Addressing a rally in the eastern city of Pakpatan, Musharraf said he had "no personal differences" with Chaudhry, and had acted against the judge after receiving a case against him from the prime minister.

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