Pakistani Justice To Get Job Back After Protests Pakistan's government says it will reinstate the former chief justice of the Supreme Court. The opposition party had threatened a massive protest march. Adil Najam, a professor at Boston University, says a revolution is under way in Pakistan.

Pakistani Justice To Get Job Back After Protests

Pakistani Justice To Get Job Back After Protests

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In Pakistan, opposition activists called off a large protest march against the government after the Pakistani leadership made major concessions in a dramatic reversal.

Key among the concessions was the reinstatement of the former chief justice of the Pakistani Supreme Court, Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry.

Chaudhry was removed from his post in 2007 by then-President Pervez Musharraf; massive protests by lawyers followed.

Pakistan's current president, Asif Ali Zardari, had refused to reinstate Chaudhry, but he reversed course after a weekend of protests.

The move is evidence that a revolution is under way in Pakistan, says Adil Najam, a professor of international relations at Boston University.

Najam tells Melissa Block the reversal came because government officials — and Zardari in particular — found themselves increasingly insolated — by the opposition, the people and by their own party.

In addition, the police in places such as Lahore began refusing to act against the protesters, another way the government found itself squeezed.

Najam says the decision to reinstate Chaudhry leaves the president very weakened and will increase the government's instability. But, he notes, the instability would have been greater if Zardari had not acquiesced to the protesters' demands.

"This was a truly grass-roots, truly civil society, truly democratic movement of the liberal, educated, progressive forces in the country," Najam says, de-emphasizing the importance of opposition leaders such as former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Najam says Sharif did not lead this movement, but tagged along. And it may not, in fact, be a revolution that Sharif likes, Najam says, noting that when Sharif was in power, he also removed judges.

Lawyers and ordinary people took to the streets in March 2007 when Musharraf removed Chaudhry, and they continue to lead the movement, he says.

Part of the tension that is going to be seen now, Najam says, is whether the opposition is going to try to "latch onto" the victory or if it's going to be considered a victory of society at large.