Much, if not all, is wrong in and with the state of Pakistan. Having said that, which is in the main not refuted, there is a segment of society which has come to be known as 'civil society' which is in raptures over the relatively newly installed judiciary and its welcome independent stance. Now, how does these near-worshippers of the independent judiciary react to a July 26 front-page headline in the national press which reads LHC CJ bays for Musharraf blood underneath which was a news item detailing the words spoken by the honourable Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court? Justice Khawaja Muhammad Sharif was at the Ferozewala Bar Association telling his audience that "former President Pervez Musharraf should be punished for his unconstitutional steps." His words: "If a big crocodile is punished now, no one will ever try to abrogate [the] constitution." He recounted how he was "thankful to God who gave me courage during my suspension period," and said that he was where he was due to the "successful lawyers' movement." During the deliberations of the Supreme Court of Pakistan last week on the matter of the regularisation of the appointment of two judges, the issue of the November 3, 2007 proclamation of emergency obviously popped up and the media pounced when the court 'invited' General Musharraf, that is gave him an opportunity, to present his version if he so wished. Because he chose, at this point, to remain silent he was said to have 'bunked' the court, to be 'hiding in London' (hardly hiding when he is making regular statements on various television channels), and lawyers whose client he had once been were said to have 'dumped' him (though apparently at this stage he had not even approached them). Of the 14 (aggrieved) judges sitting hearing the matter, 10 were justices of the Supreme Court when Musharraf struck on November 3, 2007, all having been appointed as judges during his eight year rule and taken the required oath upon their appointment. In January 2000, the chief justice, then a judge of the Balochistan High Court, was amongst the first to take an oath under the PCO. He was elevated to the Supreme Court and was on the bench in April 2000 when Musharraf's takeover of October 1999 was given full approval. Every person under the law is entitled to representation and defence in court, regardless of the alleged crime. Probing into the Musharraf emergency declaration will not open Pandora's box, as many thinking observers have it - it will open a can of worms. The final paragraph of the emergency declaration reads: "And whereas the situation has been reviewed in meetings with the prime minister, governors of all four provinces, and with the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, chiefs of the Armed Forces, Vice-Chief of Army Staff [General Ashfaq Kiyani, now COAS] and corps commanders of the Pakistan Army....". There must be minutes, or recordings of the various 'meetings' held with the above gentlemen. What objections, if any, were raised? Or did all go happily along with the action of the army chief and president? How will any court, or Parliament, deal with these reviewers? Then there are the honourable members of the National Assembly who on November 6, 2007 endorsed the proclamation of emergency by the passage of a resolution in a special session convened by Musharraf. A second resolution passed that day congratulated the general on his re-election in the October 6 presidential election. The first resolution stated that the emergency was necessitated in view of the terrorist acts in the country, disharmony among pillars of state, especially the hindrance created by the judiciary and security situation in some parts of Pakistan. What does a court or Parliament do about these male and female endorsers? Baying for blood might not be such a good idea, despite the fact that, yes, as many have it, a lesson should be taught and learned so that adventurism of the military kind is put to sleep forever. But this cannot happen in a state in which the military reigns supreme in all facets of governance - the most organised and powerful party, and the richest, the party that calls and has in its arsenal all the shots. If there is to be additional probing, hopefully the matter of the 2007 'deal' or 'arrangement' arrived at between the former president, the USA and Benazir Bhutto regarding elections and governance of Pakistan, as also the 'deal' or 'arrangement' made with the widower after Benazir's assassination. We need to know. Then there is the matter of the disgraceful NRO and its beneficiaries. President Asif Ali Zardari, for the time being, is happily immune to its being declared unconstitutional and unlawful and struck down, but there are many others involved - though his turn may one day come. All concerned should have a long hard think before leaping into a further fray. The writer is a freelance columnist