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Pakistani Lawyer Critical of Bush Administration

The Leader of the Lawyers’ Revolt in Pakistan last year that challenged President Musharraf’s power, Aitzaz Ahsan, criticized the Bush administration for not speaking out against Mr. Musharraf’s stance toward the judiciary in Pakistan.

Last November, Mr. Musharraf fired the 17-member Supreme Court of Pakistan, putting some members, including its chief justice, under house arrest. Speaking at the New York City Bar Association, Mr. Ahsan said there was “not a word or whimper of concern” from America about the school-age children of the chief justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who were also imprisoned at home behind barbed wire.
In his speech, Mr. Ahsan said the security of an independent judiciary in Pakistan was an important bulwark against “Talibanization” there. A failure of the civil justice system in Pakistan, Mr. Ahsan warned, could turn people toward extremists willing to provide “rough justice.”

The New York Sun
July 2nd, 2008