The reference filed against Justice Qazi Faez Isa, a judge of the Supreme Court, has kicked up a veritable hornet’s nest of activity. With everyone seemingly a self-proclaimed stakeholder in the outcome of the reference, we have witnessed contradictory and cross-purposes stances being taken by many, and a general air of confusion has descended on the proceedings. With the political implications of the reference far-reaching, we shouldn’t expect this conflagration to die-down anytime soon.

Regardless, stakeholders – from the various bar associations to the government – would do well to heed the advice of the apex judge in the county, Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa. While addressing the union of the Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, He said that the government cannot remove Justice Isa because the matter is to be decided by the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC). “You should trust your judges, they would provide justice, he urged the attendees, and by extension, the nation.

Trusting this system is the only sensible solution forward. Reactionary measures - such as the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) forming a special committee in all the four provinces and in Islamabad to identify “inefficient and corrupt judges” and to “prepare” references against them – will only muddy the waters further. Protests and strikes against the reference, and counter protests against those are complicating the matter without practically changing anything on the ground. As the CJP has rightly reminded us, only the SJC has the right to remove judges, and its work will not be influenced by the noise outside its walls.

The legal fraternity’s insistence on defending the sanctity of justice system is admirable and understandable, but the legal fraternity is also beset by power groups and rabid factionalism. At the moment it seems that the reference is simply an excuse to restart pre-existing conflicts on a national scale.