| Judgment Time for Musharraf

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's decision to suspend the country's chief justice poses a potential crisis for a leader torn between domestic and international pressures. Musharraf indefinitely removed Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry (IHT) from office for abuse of power, but opponents claim the move was aimed at silencing an outspoken judge before a series of election-year cases challenging the president's authority. Appointed by Musharraf in 2005, Chaudhry increasingly strayed from the government line in human rights cases. Hundreds of lawyers protested Chaudhry’s suspension in front of Islamabad's Supreme Court over what they say is an unconstitutional suspension, and several judges have resigned (BBC). In an unlikely alliance, members of Pakistan's conservative Islamist coalition joined the secular opposition in demonstrations, leading to the arrest of the coalition's leader. As protests broke out (Times of London) in other cities, Musharraf's presidential predecessor Rafiq Tarar was arrested at a Lahore rally. 

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