Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Pakistan’s missing people and judge Chaudhry

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Among the black-suited crowd celebrating Pakistani judge Iftikhar Chaudhry's reinstatement as the head of the Supreme Court outside his home in Islamabad this week was a  woman with a bouquet in her hand and a prayer in her heart.

Amina Janjua's husband went missing in July 2005, one of hundreds that rights activists allege have been held without judicial process in secret detentions centres as Pakistan's part in the campaign against al Qaeda and the Taliban. Her husband's case was one of the dozens that Chaudhry had taken up in his campaign to fix accountability for the missing people, before he was sacked in November 2007.

As the chief judge, regarded as a hero after an opposition-backed lawyers' protest movement forced the government to  back down, returns to his seat on the top court this weekend, the hopes of people such as Amina are high.

"He is going to reopen those cases, and our near and dear ones will be back home soon," India's Hindu newspaper quoted her saying in a report from Islamabad. Amina  is now leading a movement by the families of the missing, which include people from Baluchistan to Punjab.

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