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Pakistan's Prime Minister Ousted From Office By Country's Highest Court

There's fresh political turmoil in Pakistan today after the country's highest court "disqualified" Prime Minister Yousuf Reza Gilani from office, The Associated Press writes.

As Pakisan's Dawn newspaper reminds us, "the Supreme Court announced the move after convicting Gilani on April 26 of contempt for refusing to ask Switzerland to reopen a multi-million-dollar corruption investigation into President Asif Ali Zardari."

According to Dawn:

" 'Yousuf Raza Gilani has become disqualified from being member of the parliament,' said Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, reading the order.

" 'He has also ceased to be the prime minister of Pakistan with effect from the same date (April 26) and office of the prime minister shall be deemed to be vacant accordingly.' "

The BBC says "it is not clear what next steps Mr. Gilani may take — or whether his removal means the fall of the government." His Pakistan People's Party "has the necessary majority in parliament to elect a successor to Mr. Gilani."

Also in Pakistan today, Dawn says there's word that:

"A popular Pakistani singer who fled the Taliban to pursue her music career away from their repressive dictates was shot dead in the northwestern city of Peshawar, police said on Tuesday.

"Ghazala Javed, 24, was shot six times by gunmen as she left a beauty salon, although police do not believe the Taliban was responsible for her murder and said her ex-husband was a suspect in the case."

Note: We follow Associated Press style on the spelling of the prime minister's name. Other news outlets use slightly different spellings. The court referred to him as Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani.
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