Musharraf 'respects court ruling'
Islamabad, July 21, 2007
Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf has said he will fully accept a court decision to reinstate the country's chief justice.
Iftikhar Chaudhry was suspended by the president in March amid claims of corruption, but the Supreme Court on Friday quashed all charges.
Chaudhry has now become a focus of opposition to Gen Musharraf.
Gen Musharraf, who seized power in 1999, is facing mounting criticism of his rule and a wave of violence.
'The president respects the decision of the Supreme Court,' Gen Musharraf's spokesman was quoted as saying by the Associated Press of Pakistan.
'The president has stated earlier that any judgement the Supreme Court arrives at will be honoured, respected and adhered to,' the spokesman said.
The government also said the case had no political motive.
On Friday, the Supreme Court judges ruled by 10 votes to three to quash all charges against Chaudhry, calling his suspension 'illegal'.
Delivering the court's verdict, presiding Judge Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday said: 'The reference [against Mr Chaudhry] has been set aside and the chief justice has been reinstated.'
Lawyers applauded the ruling as it was read out, and jubilant crowds outside the court shouted chants of 'Go Musharraf, go'.
Chaudhry's lawyer, Aitzaz Ahsan, said: 'He has been restored and it is a victory for the entire nation.'