A frustrated court, a wary Parliament and a general public busy savoring schadenfreude is, perhaps, the perfect recipe to destroy any chances of setting a serious precedent to ensure the future sanctity of democracy in Pakistan.

While television screen joyously trumpet the trial of the former President, Pervez Musharraf, his conviction against the charges of murders of Benazir Bhutto, Nawab Akhbar Bugti and Abdul Rasheed Ghazi is gleefully anticipated. But, no one seems to be pointing to the 1999 military coup that enabled the man in the docks to do what he did.

In response to the court’s directions in the High Treason case, the government formed a four-member committee comprising of FIA officers to ‘investigate’ the issue. Months have passed and no progress has been made. One of the four members has already retired to be followed by his fellow member next year.The third officer awaits a promotion which will relieve him of his current responsibilities. After the murder of the special prosecutor to FIA, investigating the Benazir Bhutto murder case, the lack of enthusiasm of the officers should not come as a surprise.

As fate would have it, 14 years later, Nawaz Sharif is back in power with a simple majority. Will the PM break his cautious silence and finally deliver on his promises of holding the former dictator accountable?

It is a matter of record that the Supreme Court and the Parliament gave legal protection to the otherwise illegal actions of 1999. The judges responsible for legitimizing the rule sit on the SC bench, and the members responsible for electing Mr Musharraf as president sit in the Parliament -- an image which helps understand the hesitation on the part of the sacred institutions to rectify all wrongs, starting from November 2007, but no further back.

If the government intends to shut and lock the door to military dictatorships, it must try Musharraf not for the song-and-dance criminal trials that obliquely refer to him as the main decision maker and thus culprit, but for the fact that he overthrew a democratic government, defied an oath sworn to the nation and abrogated the constitution. Pervez Musharraf must be tried for treason under Article 6 of the constitution, and the SC and the government must not tiptoe around the reality that that will be the most fitting trial to encompass all other acts of dubious legality under the Musharraf regime. The constitution clearly states those involved in aiding, abetting or collaborating with the primary accused will be held responsible as well. Let it be so. Let us face our faults with a clear-eyed intent to repeat them no more and hide them no longer. Only fearless self-criticism and correction is in the national interest. Nothing else.