Recent events in the political and legal sphere of the country indicate that the coming months would see increasing instability between the institutions of the state.
According to an article by Sabir Shakir published today in Roznama Dunya, the current partnership and mutual understanding between the civilian and military leadership faces increasing risk of being strained due to the recent spate of incidents involving the institutions of the state.
Firstly, one of the most conflict inducing issues is the extension of the army chief, which was created by the Supreme Court’s decision to suspend the notification extending the tenure of General Bajwa. The court subsequently ordered the government to legislate on the matter within six months. In case the government fails to do so, it will take the matter back to the Supreme Court, which would create tensions between the government, judiciary and the military.
Following the extension issue, lawyers attacked the Punjab Institute of Cardiology in Lahore, and their inability to get relief in the matter will further create conflict between the bar and the bench. Moreover, if the government proceeds with action against the involved lawyers, it would create conflict between the judiciary and executive.
Recently, the special court handed the death sentence to former president General Musharraf for high treason. Paragraph 66 of the detailed verdict, which called for Musharraf’s hanging at D chowk, created according to the DG ISPR, anger and sadness among the armed forces, which was alarming and gave the impression that the military and judiciary are about to collide.
According to Sabir Shakir, all these incidents happening in close succession gives the impression that this not a mere coincidence, but that some entity is behind this, which, in a planned and systematic manner, is pushing the country towards instability. All these three events have resulted in misconceptions among the military, government, and judiciary,
Meanwhile the government is in a dilemma with regards to its complaint against the Musharraf verdict and its reference against Justice Waqar Seth. If the government decides to go ahead with its complaint against Musharraf, it would put the government at loggerheads with the judiciary.
On the other hand, if the government decides to not pursue its reference against Waqar Seth, it would strain relations between the government and military establishment.
The current incidents and the situations they have created have left little room to manoeuvre for all institutions, and the government especially, is in a situation that is a manifestation of the phrase, ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’.