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Musharraf defends suspension of justice

March 21, 2007 at 1:25 AM

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, March 20 (UPI) -- Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, in a television interview, defended his decision to remove the country's chief justice.

Musharraf told GEO-TV that some mistakes were made in the dismissal of Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who was suspended on March 9.

Husain Haqqani, an adviser to two former Pakistani prime ministers, told the Voice of America that the dismissal has turned into a crisis for Musharraf by crystallizing opposition.

"What he did not realize was that, after seven years in power, the honeymoon is over," said Husain Haqqani. "There are many, many, many causes of resentment, and this has become the lightening rod for those many causes of resentment."

Seven other judges have resigned since Chaudhry was suspended as well as a deputy attorney general. There have been hundreds of arrests across Pakistan in demonstrations by lawyers and others.

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