World Bulletin / News Desk
Pakistan's powerful Supreme Court on Thursday ordered imminent general elections to go ahead as planned.
The order came amid speculation that the military is working with the judiciary to force out a civilian leader and delay the elections that will mark the first time a civilian government in Pakistan has completed a full term since independence in 1947.
"The executive, both civilian and military, shall not take any action or steps that are tantamount to deviation from the election," Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry ruled.
"Deviation from the constitution or introducing any other system not recognised by the constitution shall not be acceptable."
The general election is expected in May.
This month, a cleric, Tahirul Qadri, camped outside parliament with thousands of supporters calling on the government to step down.
The timing of Qadri's return from six years in Canada, just a few months before elections are due, and his role in supporting a 1999 coup by former army chief Pervez Musharraf, had raised fears that the army was using him to bring down the government and provide a pretext to hand-pick a caretaker cabinet.Last Mod: 31 Ocak 2013, 15:01