The simmering political crisis in Pakistan on Monday blew over, with former prime minister Nawaz Sharif calling off the long march, after the government buckled and announced the reinstatement of deposed Supreme Court Chief Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.
The announcement came early today morning with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani announcing the government's decision to reinstate Justice Chaudhry, who was dismissed by then President Pervez Musharraf, after the imposition of emergency in 2007.
Former premier and Pakistan Muslim League-N chief Nawaz Sharif, who defied house arrest on Sunday and was on a long march along with his supporters for a mass sit-in outside the Parliament in Islamabad, called off the protest and hailed the government's announcement as a victory.
Gilani's announcement today came on top of the government's decision on Saturday to file a review petition challenging the Supreme Court's order barring PML-N leaders Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif from electoral politics.
"In keeping with the promise made by the President and me, I announce the restoration of all deposed judges, including Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, to their posts," Gilani said in a televised address to the nation.
Chaudhry will assume the post of Chief Justice once current incumbent Abdul Hamid Dogar retires on March 21.
The Pakistan government also issued a formal notification reinstating Chaudhry and nine other judges who were sacked during the 2007 emergency.
Among the judges who were reinstated to their positions in the Supreme Court are Chaudhry and Justices Javed Iqbal, Khalilur Rehman Ramday, Raja Muhammad Fayaz and Ejaz Ahmed, the notification said. Justices Musheer Alam and Maqbool Baqar were restored to the Sindh High Court, Justice Ejaz Afzal to the Peshawar High Court and Justices Khawaja Sharif and Ejaz Ahmed to the Lahore High Court.