Pakistan court strikes down president's order

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan's Supreme Court suspended the presidential appointment of two top judges in an emergency ruling that could cause a destabilizing clash between the judiciary and the unpopular, Western-backed government.
As local media reported the country was headed into a political and judicial crisis following the decision, President Asif Ali Zardari's spokesman issued a statement dismissing rumors the government was planning to declare a state of emergency.
The development will concern Pakistan's Western allies, who want the country to concentrate on battling al-Qaida and Taliban militants in the northwest. The stability of the nuclear-armed nation is also key to Washington's hopes of defeating the insurgency just across the border in Afghanistan.
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