BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 21 February 2008, 11:31 GMT
Deposed judge in Pakistan appeal
Former chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry (file photo)
Mr Chaudhry says that he is the victim of 'an outrage'
The former Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry, has addressed supporters despite being under house arrest in Islamabad.

He told lawyers in Karachi by mobile phone that the next government should restore judges deposed by President Musharraf during emergency rule.

Soon after he spoke, police fired tear gas at protesting lawyers in the city.

Mr Chaudhry was sacked when Mr Musharraf imposed emergency rule in early November.

His dismissal came as the court was preparing to rule on the validity of President Musharraf's re-election.

Mr Chaudhry had gained a reputation for judicial independence, partly through taking up investigations into the highly sensitive issue of the disappearance of political activists allegedly detained illegally by the security forces.

'Defining moments'

Correspondents say that Mr Chaudhry made use of a mobile telephone that was smuggled into his home in Islamabad to address lawyers who had gathered in at least two cities.

He told lawyers in Karachi that the recent election result showed that the Pakistani people had "repudiated" President Musharraf and that "unconstitutional measures" taken by him under emergency rule should be reversed.

Former Supreme Court Judge Wajihuddin Ahmed, centre, at Islamabad rally 21 November
Lawyers have held numerous protests against President Musharraf

"Victory is not far off now," he said.

"There are occasions when a nation passes through defining moments and the Pakistani nation is passing through this defining moment now.

"If we lose this opportunity no one can then change the affairs of this nation ever."

Supporters responded to his speech by chanting "go, Musharraf, go!"

Soon after the suspended chief justice spoke, scuffles broke out in Karachi between police and about 100 lawyers demanding President Musharraf's removal.

Similar protests were held by lawyers in Quetta, and in Lahore, where they burnt an effigy of President Musharraf in front of the Punjab provincial legislature.

Correspondents say that the future of about 60 judges suspended by the president will be on the agenda of talks between the two largest parties to emerge from the week's elections, the Pakistan People's Party [PPP] and The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz [PML-N].

The PPP argues that the issue should be determined by parliament, whereas the PML-N says that that President Musharraf should be immediately impeached and the justices immediately reinstated.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific