In Islamabad a new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan has been sworn in to replace the former Chief Justice, Mohammad Yakub Ali, who was forced to retire.
In Islamabad a new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan has been sworn in to replace the former Chief Justice, Mohammad Yakub Ali, who was forced to retire. While he headed the judiciary Mr. Yakub Ali had agreed to hear a petition challenging the army's right to arrest the country's former Prime Minister, Mr. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Bhutto's hearing has now been postponed, but it's understood to have represented a legal challenge to the martial law imposed by army leader, General Mohammad Zia-Ul, who overthrew Mr. Bhutto in a coup last July.
Before the hearing could be held General Zia removed Mr. Justice Yakub Ali by reducing the retiring age for Chief Justices from 75 to 65 years. Mr. Yakub Ali was 65 last March. His successor, Mr. Anwarul Haq, was sworn in on Friday (23 September) by President Chaudhry Fazal Elahi, and the country's six Supreme Court Judges also took a new oath of office. The oath deletes a paragraph under which judges promise to "defend and protect" the constitution.
Mr. Bhutto, who was arrested over a week ago, is being detained although no official charges have been laid against him. His supporters are demanding his release, saying he has been effectively blocked from campaigning in Pakistan's forthcoming elections.