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Not long ago, the PTI government was apparently irked by a particular Supreme Court of Pakistan judgment. It is, however, quite unfortunate that the government appears to be unaware of the fact that independent courts lead to more democratic governments. That the role of an independent judiciary in preserving and protecting freedom cannot be over-emphasized is a fact. The observations being made by the learned judges of the apex court of Pakistan in recent days during the course of court proceedings following the filing of a no-confidence motion by joint opposition against the prime minister in National Assembly speak volumes about higher judiciary’s approach to sanctity of constitution and rule of law.

The ability of courts and judges to perform their duties free of influence or control by other actors, whether governmental or private, is indeed praiseworthy, although it is impossible for any state or society to create a perfectly independent judiciary that is completely insulated from all forms of political and popular influence. Judicial independence is a means to an end rather than an end itself.

Our political parties, including those who constitute the PTI-led coalition governments at centre and in two provinces, are therefore required to ensure that they do not do or commit anything that may undermine or weaken our judiciary’s principal function of authoritative adjudication in relation to any or all disputes over the application of laws in specific situations, including the present one facing this nation of 200 million people who have been witnessing to their chagrin the following: in this game of political brinkmanship it is impossible that any side will collapse suddenly.

Rashed Maher (Karachi)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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