Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s detailed judgement in the Faizabad sit-in case takes a sword to what may had perceived to be a Gordian knot, and cuts to the heart of the matter, laying all threads and entanglements bare.

The verdict, which comes from a suo-moto action, predictably reads less like a traditional court order – which proscribes defined actions or penalties to pre-determined parties – but rather like a judicial commission report, which takes in all under its gaze and makes recommendations across the board. But being a Supreme Court order, it has enforceability where judicial commissions often do not. Therefore it merits that the wide variety of orders given by the apex court be unpacked individually.

The main focus of the verdict and the prime takeaway remains a stark denunciation of Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP) style politics and their message of hate. From this flows other orders – charge these miscreants to the full extent of the law, make greater effort to root such narratives out, and reform the law-enforcement agencies so they can handle such situations with competence in the future.

Another tangent, which is equally important, that the Supreme Court deliberated on was the miscommunication and misuse of authority between various institutions. A significant portion of the verdict instructs intelligence and paramilitary organisations to act within the bounds of the responsibilities and coordinate with the government more efficiently. Perceived support to the sit-on from “agencies” was a vital factor in the saga, according to the court, and it contributed to the fiasco that was the government’s response. Such mistakes can be avoided in the future if all institutes stay within their prescribed roles; even if a particular situation can be improved by their involvement.

The need for an “institutional framework” that defines the roles of various state institutes such as the judiciary, executive, armed forces, law enforcement agencies and legislature in more detail than is currently available has been a stated objective of the new Chief Justice, Asif Saeed Khosa. He has already called on the government to initiate dialogue on this matter when he took office, and this verdict by the Supreme Court has now ordered that such a framework be developed.

The solution was always known – the friction between institutions can be resolved by better defined roles and chains of command. Now with this verdict, the government has no choice but to work on this framework. With the current government working harmoniously with state institutions, developing a consensus should not be too difficult.