Pakistan’s economic, political and security crises now have an additional one – the judiciary crisis. An independent judiciary that has the respect and trust of the people is paramount. An openly divided judiciary cannot serve as a check on the executive and legislature in any meaningful way.
Pakistan’s body politic is severely polarized and it was only a matter of time before the judiciary – that for decades has acted as one of the kingmakers – would one day face the same internal divisions as the other institutions. As the Dawn noted, “The ‘great unravelling’ triggered by the dismantling of the PTI regime last April was perhaps bound to unravel the country’s top court as well. After all, the PTI had climbed to power on the back of several judgements that cut the feet out from under its political opposition.”
Yet, as an editorial in Dawn remarked “The unseemly drama that has played out in the highest court of the land this week seems to have drained the Pakistani people of whatever residual hope they had of seeing sanity restored to the country anytime soon.”
In conclusion an editorial in Dawn warned, “The country cannot afford any of its top judges to be seen to be associated with one political narrative or the other. It bears repeating that they must immediately resolve their differences amongst themselves in order to present a united front to the other branches of the state.”