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Musharraf urged to step down as power shift i -

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Musharraf urged to step down as power shift in Pakistan continues

Broadcast: 03/04/2008

Reporter: Peter Lloyd

Pressure is building on Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf to quit after more than eight years
in power.


TONY JONES: Pressure is building on Pakistan's president Pervez Musharraf to quit after more than
eight years in power.

The sacked Chief Justice Iftikhar Choudhry has stepped up his campaign to win back his job,
following a pledge from the new Government to restore more than 60 judges fired by Musharraf during
last November's emergency rule.

South Asia correspondent Peter Lloyd filed this report.

PETER LLOYD, REPORTER: It was a rousing hometown welcome for Pakistan's former chief justice. In
his native city, Iftikhar Choudhry, was mobbed by jubilant supporters.

This, his first trip outside the capital Islamabad, since being released from house arrest last
week. For months, Iftikhar Choudhry has been the symbol of resistance to the President's strong
armed rule.

PAKISTANI MAN: We don't think that he has been suspended, because the suspension is that one has to
pass through supreme judicial council et cetera and this is not a suspension. We don't consider
this a suspension.

PETER LLOYD: For Mr Chaudhry, this was the first of a series of planned trips across Pakistan to
build support for the reinstatement of all those judges sacked in November by Pervez Musharraf.

IFTIKHAR CHOUDRY, FORMER PAKISTAN CHIEF JUSTICE (Translated): You people can see how the results
from the 18th of February election changed the country's culture.

Who did this? This is done by you people and the people of the country.

The message is clear, that in the future everything will be constitutional and there'll be no more
one man rule. Everything will be under the law and constitution and in the end, everybody will be
safe in this country.

PETER LLOYD: The new Prime Minister, Yousuf Gilani, has pledged to reverse the judicial sackings in
a direct challenge to the authority of Pervez Musharraf.

The two were together again for the swearing in of the new cabinet.

Some ministers wearing black armbands to show their defiance of Musharraf.

This new government is determined to put Pervez Musharraf in his place, as a constitutional
figurehead and no more.

Prime Minister Gilani has already been setting out his priorities. Number one, a new approach to
the fight against militancy, an olive branch for those willing to lay down their arms.

Overall more talk, less confrontation.

YOUSUF GILANI, PAKISTAN PRIME MINISTER (Translation): Now the democratic journey has started in the
country, I request all those people that they should quit the way of violence and join us in this
journey of democracy. We're ready for negotiations with all those people who'll throw away their
weapons and join the track of peace.

PETER LLOYD: The venue was more than symbolic, Parliament not the President is running the show

Within 24 hours, some militants with alleged ties to al Qaeda were reacting.

MAULVI UMAR, TEHRIK-E-TALIBAN PAKISTAN SPOKESMAN (Translation): The new Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza
Gilani, has made a proposal of talks, we welcome that announcement. The Taliban are ready for talks
and for extending all kinds of cooperation to the Government in order to bring peace in tribal
areas. God willing, we will cooperate with this Government.

PETER LLOYD: This group says its fight is not with Pakistan. They say their war is with America.

They accused Pervez Musharraf of being Washington's poodle. It's not clear yet whether the new
Government will get different treatment.