An entire battalion of the police force, aided by mobile jammers and containers to block the route, was left looking a trifle silly after all their efforts came to naught and it was made clear that a bomb threat is not the only way to keep the ex-dictator away from the proceedings. This time, Mr Musharraf was taken to the hospital midway, with concerns of ‘heart problems’ and hence could not make it to the proceedings. The universe is clearly doing all it can to stop this trial from taking place and maybe the government should give up while it can. It’s either that, or keep up this charade in the ‘interests of justice’, which is not likely to be upheld, because so far the accused has not even made himself available to the court on a single occasion. Added to that, no move has been made, or will be made it seems, to bring everyone complicit to Musharraf’s regime to justice.

It is impossible to determine whether Musharraf is actually suffering from some illness, or whether this is just a childish ploy to defer the hearing for a later date, delaying the inevitable while assessing the patience of the government and the judiciary in order to see if they really have what it takes to try a former military dictator. Either way, the tribunal went back on its original position of issuing an arrest warrant if there was a failure by the defendant to produce himself in front of the court. Musharraf’s recent interviews to local and foreign channels showed the dictator to be his usual calm and confident self, with no signs that any physical ailment was troubling him.

Whether or not, the retired military chief’s failure to show up for a single hearing has been seen by some as a move that brings a bad name to the army, the institution that Musharraf is convinced still supports him. His actions have undermined the principles of valour and the ability to face all odds that the army is known for. As it stands, there is no way to tell if the army really is ready to support their old commander through thick and thin, because the trial has not really progressed enough to test that loyalty. But still, it does not seem very likely that our most powerful institution will just hand one of their own as a scapegoat. Perhaps it would help if adherence to the rule of law is not viewed as a surrender, and a new example is set in order to correct the persistent imbalance of power in the country.