The balance of powers between the three institutions of state are the backbone of the society; in the many instances where they have been violated, we have seen democracy fall and wither. Pakistan has a lot of ills we need to cure- but whenever we see a potential steering into disrupting the separation of powers, even if it is for a good cause, we must always fight back, because the means has never proved to justify the end.

Perhaps we are raising the alarm too early and there is nothing to worry about- but the Supreme Court’s (SC) arraying into affairs that are mostly legislative concerns do prop heads a bit. Whether it is surveying medical facilities and colleges to decide whether they are up to the mark, or bringing to task Sindh tanker mafia, the Chief Justice (CJP) has been in the spotlight a lot, often for cases which are not strictly in the domain of the judiciary but are causes of popular support.

The SC in these current times is one of the most respected institutions, which has done some great strides of work in law., Saqib Nisar, must be commended for taking courageous judgements, with his textualist-conservative philosophical approach. While he may have noble intentions, he of all people must know the dangers of an overly political and populist judiciary.

As per CJP’s justification, we agree that yes, sometimes, judiciary’s intervention is necessary. The Panama Judgment, while problematic, was still a solid and bold move by the judiciary, and an imperative step to step a deterrent against rising corruption. However, on that move, was the further suo moto action against Talal Chaudhry and Daniyal Aziz for contempt of court necessary? Is the Court going to hand down disqualification verdicts to every parliamentarian in the House for having assets beyond means? If that is so, it would be, as Asma Jehangir said in Court in a case deciding whether disqualification under Article 62 should have a minimum time period, that we might have to export people from abroad since there would no one sadiq and ameen left standing.

There is a culture of corruption in our politics, and nobody in Pakistan is fooled into thinking there isn’t so. However, to ignore the separation of powers is a heftier price, and is not even the most effective option. While we support our judiciary in their honest efforts, we believe that the maxim “choose your battles” is a pertinent one in this case.