'Judicial coup' stuns Pakistan

'Judicial coup' stuns Pakistan

Gilani no more PM: SC verdict triggers political turmoil

The disqualification of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani by Pakistan’s top court on Tuesday — a stunning move likened to a “judicial coup” — has thrown the country into fresh turmoil.

The Supreme Court ruling was a major escalation in a long-running confrontation between the judges and the government, and appeared to be a knockout blow against Gilani, effectively dismissing his Cabinet as well. Supreme Court Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry has made a name for himself in recent years by taking on Pakistan’s most powerful figures.
Now, he is back at the centre of the nation’s turbulent political stage.

Chaudhry became a household name in Pakistan and gained international recognition in 2007 when he stood up to then President Pervez Musharraf over his legally questionable bid to hold on to power.

Since then, he has taken on the government over allegations of corruption, and has even challenged the military, which has ruled for more than half of Pakistan’s 64-year history.

Chaudhry took up cases involving kidnappings and torture of suspected Islamist militants allegedly carried out by the military and intelligence agencies. They deny the charges. “The Supreme Court has expanded its domain once again,” said analyst Hasan Askari Rizvi.

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