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A full-court bench: Key to ending the current deadlock


ISLAMABAD was a sight of mayhem on Monday: Hordes of stick-wielding men laid siege to the city’s Red Zone, one of the most sensitive and heavily secured areas, seeking Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial’s resignation for being PTI chief Imran Khan’s alleged facilitator.

Islamabad Police, which goes into overdrive when it comes to capturing protestors, chose to be mere spectators, as dozens of people made their way into the jealously guarded area by scaling and breaking through the high gates.

While Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which forbids the assembly of four or more people in an area, was effective in Islamabad, it appeared as though the government did not want to see it implemented.

The interior minister was nowhere in sight, although he wastes no time to appear on TV screens to validate all strongarm tactics to control the law-and-order situation. More important, the government, ostensibly to cover yesterday’s event, quietly restored all social media channels following days of shutdown.

Ironically, the government is currently breaching the Constitution by refusing to hold legitimate elections for the Punjab and KP assemblies, but it still expects the Supreme Court to follow the rules.

While the executive arm of government, which ought to have been executing the law on Monday without regard to who had showed up to protest, is operating in utter subservience to it, it claims that the judiciary is “protecting” Imran Khan.

On the other hand, inside the apex court, the three-member bench once more called on the politicians to sit together and find an amicable solution to the stalemate. The reports of the proceedings also indicated that the judges were deeply aware of the developments unfolding outside the Supreme Court.

Granted that talks are the best solution to the country’s deepening political mess, but it appears they are simply ineffective in the existing polarized and toxic environment.

The chief justice’s decision to give dialogue another shot reflects that he may have realized that his court should have steered clear of embroiling itself in the political imbroglio.

But it’s never too late to mend, and Mr Bandial would do well to consider forming a full-court bench to allay the government’s grievances and to bring down the political temperature.

The key to the current deadlock is in the chief justice’s hands; it’s time he acted impartially and dispensed justice in its true form and manifestation.

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Rava Desk

Rava is an online news portal providing recent news, editorials, opinions and advice on day to day happenings in Pakistan.


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