Islamabad: Pakistan's Chief Justice Iftikhar M Chaudhry has vowed to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution", saying that any deviation from it under any circumstances must be resisted.

Justice Chaudhry made the remarks at a Full Court meeting on Wednesday night convened at a time when legal experts, opposition leaders and former judges feared the government is heading towards a direct clash by not-implementing orders by the apex court to end corruption in government departments.

Chaudhry said that since the restoration of the independent judiciary, the public at large had attached great expectations with the judiciary, a court statement said.

"Thus, it was imperative upon both the Bar and the Bench to leave no stone unturned to ensure quick, inexpensive and substantial justice at all levels," the statement quoted him as saying.

The Full Court reiterated that the Supreme Court would observe that "national salvation lay in applying the principle of rule of law and resisting any deviation from the Constitution under any circumstances."

During the meeting, the Chief Justice appreciated the commitment and devotion of all judges sitting on various benches, both at the principal seat and the branch registries. He appreciated the fact that due to their efforts, the backlog of pending cases had been reduced by more than two thousand.

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has accused the government of violating the court orders. He warned of direct action if the government continued violation of the court's verdicts.

Tehrik-e-Insaf party chief Imran Khan announced at a rally in the northwestern city of Mardan on Wednesday that he would lead a rally on every Saturday to seek support for the Supreme Court.

He said the government is worried over the independence judiciary as it is exposing the corrupt rulers
and their relatives.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said he wants to resign as the Chief Minister and lead the people in streets against the government and in support of the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court stopped transfer of senior bureaucrats and investigators who accepted its orders and probed several cases of corruption, which reports said also involved ministers.

Prime Minister Yosuf Raza Gilani's son has been accused of being involved in a corruption case.

(Agencies)