The judicial crisis in Azad Kashmir bodes ill for the nation and must be resolved at the earliest. The roots of the stalemate can be traced to the differences between Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider and President Raja Zulqurnain. Anyhow, tinkering with the system just to settle personal scores is most unfortunate. To begin with, the manner in which the Prime Minister deposed Chief Justice Riaz Akhtar Chaudhry raises some questions. True, he first filed a reference against him in the AJK's Supreme Judicial Council, based on the charge that the CJ had acted in contravention of the Constitution and was therefore not fit to hold the office; but the fact remains that giving a Chief Justice his marching orders all of a sudden amounts to upsetting the apple cart as many view it as an attempt to target the independence of the judiciary. Worse still, the move to appoint the acting Chief Justice, which was seemingly done to normalise the situation, has proved to be counterproductive. While the President was away to attend a meeting abroad, the PM through the acting President appointed Syed Manzoor Hussain as acting Chief Justice. When the President returned, there was no other option left for him but to reinstate the deposed Chief Justice. One would have wished that the PM had not acted in haste and had rather consulted with the President beforehand to avoid the tussle. At this point in time, the stalemate shows no sign of resolution and rather appears to be getting worse by the hour. It is quite sad to know that presently, there are two Chief Justices working simultaneously in the AJK, which among others would badly affect the dispensation of justice. The idea of two Chief Justices at loggerheads with each other is contrary to the Constitution, to say the least. A forward bloc consisting of 10 ministers has been formed, posing a threat to the government led by Raja Farooq Haider. Likewise, lawyers have announced rallies and a movement in support of the deposed Chief Justice. If the crisis remains unresolved, it would greatly undermine the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law in Azad Kashmir. Besides, we must also be on our guard against New Delhi, which is ever ready to fish in troubled waters. It should be clear that the dismissal of CJ Chaudhry opened a Pandora's box, leading to the present mess. Gone are the days when the rulers could act like General Musharraf and sack judges of apex courts through executive orders. The Supreme Judicial Council is looking into the matter and the best strategy would be to respect its verdict.