Page last updated at 11:22 GMT, Monday, 16 March 2009

Pakistanis hail judge restoration

Pakistan's government has said that sacked Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry will be reinstated, after days of unrest across the country.

The BBC News website has spoken to a number of people in Pakistan and they have expressed their jubilation on hearing the news.


Adnan Karim

Our nation has been waiting for almost two years for the restoration of Iftikhar Chaudhry. Now we are waiting for the dismissal of President [Asif Ali] Zardari. We don't want any more dictatorship in our country.

This is a victory for our nation. The community of lawyers and opposition and political parties made this happen.

We put great efforts into getting the chief justice restored. This is the news the nation was waiting for.

I was out on the streets in Lahore. I saw the protest against the injustice. It was a very great protest. All the people were out on the streets. There was great feeling between us.

This led us to victory.


Asim Akram

There is a sense of celebration at the moment at the Lahore Bar.

I hear that people in Karachi are celebrating on the main roads. We were expecting this move, but not so soon.

But there is also a sense of caution. There are political developments afoot. There is a draft amendment to the constitution which proposes to curtail the time of the chief justice to three years.

So there are still technicalities to be sorted out. If the powers of the chief justice are curtailed, there won't be such cause for celebration.

We had to show our strength. It was a game of nerves between the general citizens and the government. They had to see the force of the citizens of Pakistan. When they saw the size of the mob, they made the right decision.


Lubna Hassan

We are feeling good about what has happened. We hope this is the start of the path to progress. The last time the chief justice was brought in, he was removed again.

But this time the public showed their voice.

People are fine and relaxed. Karachi is really calm right now. Everybody is relieved. If the protest had gone on, you never know what would have happened.

It was bad. Something had to be done, the public could not be held back. The way the crowd was moving, it looked uncontrollable. The only option would have been for the military to move in. They had to give in.

Now this issue has been settled, the public and government can settle on other issues. The chief justice now has to consider the case against the president.


Hammad haider

I did take part in the protest but I couldn't make it very far out because of the various blockages. But I was part of the Karachi leg.

There was a bit of shock when we heard about the restoration of the judge. It was unexpected. We did not think the government would buckle so quickly.

Over the last couple of days the situation started becoming that much more tense. Zardari started behaving more and more like [former President Pervez] Musharraf.

This is a big step in achieving the larger objective of the independence of the judiciary. But all is not won.

All eyes are on the judiciary now to see if they actually act in an independent manner. Pakistan's history is riddled with incidents where a weak judiciary has been used to benefit the ruling party and executive.

Time will tell if the sacrifices of the lawyers' movement have made the judiciary stronger. We have been so obsessed with the restoration of the chief justice that we have almost forgotten about the wider independence of the judiciary.


Maryam Sufi

This was a protest for the common cause, for an honest cause. People wanted the restoration of the judiciary for the future of Pakistan.

I am so glad that the people of Pakistan and the lawyers came together. For us, it's a day of hope and positivity. This is happy conclusion and everyone is relieved.

As a citizen of this country, I can say things are on the right path for the first time in years. We as Pakistanis want good leadership and we want a system where good leaders can come up.

We have also shown the world that people in Pakistan want a stronger nation, a stronger country. We want our country to progress.

Unfortunately our leaders have never given us the chance to move forward in that direction. Finally the people have opened up.

Today history has been made and the generations to come will remember this day.


Muhammad Akseer

This has gone on for two years. There was no option but a full strike and I was taking part.

When we heard [about the reinstatement] there were scenes of jubilation and celebration all over Pakistan. People started distributing sweets. Everybody was part of this movement.

This is so important because there should be a system of accountability in the country. If somebody does something wrong, he should be held accountable. Nobody should be above the law.

This will be a good step towards progress and prosperity.

People managed to get this done. It is about the power of the public. Now all the corruption cases can be opened and people can be judged fairly. This is historic.

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