The Pakistani state often operates in a puzzling manner but nothing it has done in recent years is more puzzling than the return in March 2013 of former army chief, chief executive and president of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, after his fall from power and exile in August 2008. What is more intriguing is his continued presence.

Firstly, consider the army. Historically, maintaining a good public image has been one of its most consistent organisational strengths. However, in the case of Musharraf, while there has been no shortage of institutional and logistical support, the army’s think tanks simply did not inform their former chief that his return would create troubles for him as well as the army.

Secondly, consider the politicians. Just six months before Chief Justice Chaudhry’s hammer was to turn silent, in December 2013, most of Parliament stood behind Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s decision to prosecute Musharraf on charges of high treason. The nature of other cases against Musharraf – murders of Benazir Bhutto, Akbar Bugti and Ghazi Abdul Rashid, and the illegal detention of judges – are also highly political. For politicians presumably wise enough to avoid filing politically motivated cases against each other, did doing the same to Musharraf not seem out of place?

Thirdly, consider the judiciary. Despite having access to Musharraf for more than two years now, the judicial system is yet to produce any substantive conviction or acquittal of Musharraf in any of the high profile cases, except of course putting him on the Exit Control List. The umpteenth non-bailable arrest warrant issued to Musharraf yesterday, this time by the Islamabad Sessions Court in the Ghazi murder case, serves little purposes other than a reminder that the case really does continue to exist.

With several high profile engagements on the government’s agenda in the near future, producing Musharraf before various courts in Pakistan is likely to remain an ambition rather than a conviction. All arms of the government have been very distracted, and seemingly, the incentives to help Musharraf get convicted or be acquitted, never seem to align.