26 Oct : Asserting that there is no judicial crisis in Pakistan, President Asif Ali Zardari has said the deposed judges, including ex-Chief Justice Iftikhar M Chaudhry, should contest polls instead of issuing political statements.Zardari said he saw "no judicial crisis in the country except a few deposed judges issuing political statements."
"The way these former judges are delivering speeches similar to that of politicians, I would advise the Prime Minister to give them a party ticket for the Senate elections to be held next year," he said.
"I do not see even a minute (of) judicial crisis except a few judges delivering political speeches… Forty-two out of 62 (deposed) judges have taken a new oath and now it’s a problem of only four-five people, as many of them have already retired," Zardari told a daily.
Despite repeated calls from the opposition PML-N for reinstating all the judges deposed by former President Pervez Musharraf during the emergency rule last year, Zardari’s PPP has refrained from restoring Chaudhry and a handful of other judges who have refused to take fresh oath.
Senior PPP leaders have also said Chaudhry could be reinstated but would not get back his earlier post.
Asked whether the four-five judges who were "a problem" included Chaudhry, Zardari jokingly said he was so popular that he "might pose a threat to the government" as these judges had assumed the role of politicians.
The President has the power to lift the two-year ban on any judge or government employee contesting polls after retiring, Zardari said.
Zardari listed uniting the federation, undertaking an important official visit to China and taking on board the people of Pakistan and the Awami National Party (ANP) for the war on terror as his major achievements during his first 45 days in office.
Referring to the country’s power crisis, he said Pakistan might go in for new technology-based energy plants.
He said the first step the government would take to save energy would be to replace over 10 million bulbs with free-of-cost energy savers with lower voltage and more light.
"The protests against high tariff rates are urban-based and we have to take unpopular decisions," said Zardari, who invited everyone with financial and economic expertise to help the nation by providing inputs.
He brushed aside any possibility of mid-term polls, adding democracy will progress in the spirit of the Charter of Democracy signed by the PPP and PML-N in 2006.
To a question about PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif’s reported proposal for mid-term polls, Zardari said he did not see any chance of such elections.
"Mid-term or general elections after five years would be held under the supervision of the President. However, the decision to hold polls would be taken by the Prime Minister," he said.
"There is not even a remotest chance of mid-term polls. The Sharifs are my friends and we have signed the Charter of Democracy and it would remain intact for giving strength to democracy," Zardari said.