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    Chaudhry freed on the orders of the new PM

    Islamabad (PTI): Former Chief Justice Ifthikar Mohammad Chaudhry was on Monday night freed from house arrest minutes after newly elected Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani ordered that all judges sacked by President Pervez Musharraf be immediately released.

    A potential confrontation between incoming PPP-led coalition government and Musharraf brewed after authorities freed all the judges who were deposed and detained during last year's Emergency imposed by the embattled President.

    Chaudhry, who was sacked one year back, has been in house arrest for the last four months. Some 60 judges of the superior judiciary were sacked on November 3 last and several of them are still under house arrest.

    Barbed wire barricades were cut and concrete barriers were removed from around the residence of Chaudhry in the Judges Colony here. A smiling Chaudhry appeared on the balcony with his children and lawyers and waved to the gathered crowd.

    "On behalf of myself and other judges of SC and HC who were illegaly and unconstitutionally placed under house arrest on Nov 3 (last year), I offer my thanks," Chaudhry said.

    Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Hamir Amir Ali said Gillani's order had been implemented and "all the deposed judges are free to move about."

    Shortly after the release of the judges, former premier Nawaz Sharif whose PML-N is part of the incoming government said the cause for which the coalition partners stood has "moved forward." Sharif vfowed that all the sacked judges will be restored within 30 days through a Parliament resolution.

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