Vol. 5 Num 990 Wed. March 14, 2007  

Top Pak judge hits back at Musharraf

Pakistan's top judge launched a blistering attack on the government of President Pervez Musharraf yesterday for trying to sack him and for allegedly detaining him and his family.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry hit out in a written statement to the country's five-member Supreme Judicial Council as it began a closed-door hearing on unspecified allegations against him of misconduct and abuse of authority.

Military ruler Musharraf suspended Chaudhry on Friday, sparking protests by lawyers and opposition parties and warnings of a looming constitutional crisis ahead of parliamentary elections expected late this year.

"I will not resign," Chaudhry's lawyer, Aitzaz Ahsan, quoted the 58-year-old judge as saying as he forced his way through a crowd of around 200 protesting lawyers outside the Supreme Court in Islamabad.

Pakistani lawyers surround sacked Pakistani Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry (C) upon his arrival at Supreme Court in Islamabad yesterday. PHOTO: AFP