The idea of state as a family was foundational to Rousseau’s conception of state governance, in which the parents’ were to act as the guardian of the family members. Stretching the interconnection of the family and the state, one has to consider the responsibility of the state when its members collide and clash with one another.

A flashpoint between two professional bodies which culminated in ravaging Pakistan Institute of Cardiology. One professional body act as the gateway to justice to litigants, whereas, the other ensures that the better health to the social workforce to add utility to the society. The former is central to the society for evaluating the boundaries of law so as to encompass events which represent the social necessity to cater for the boundless enterprise and energy to bolster social mobility. Thus, there is no cavil that any country could bear the opportunity cost of foregoing either one.

There were instances where the entire saga of events, pre-PIC and post-PIC could have been averted. There was no official representative of the provincial government to pacify the grievances of the lawyers before or as they marched on from Mall Road towards PIC. Without speculating the possibilities that ought to have happened, the ignorance of the Inspector General of Punjab Police, the obliviousness and the slumber state of the entire provincial establishment appears to have a stench of commission rather than an omission by allowing the blaze to reach the hospital. It is easy to displace the myth that, the provincial government was not aware or that it had not pre-empted the events which occurred as the police were found inside the hospital before the arrival of the lawyers, adorned with navy blue metallic shields held to their chests, thick helmets on their heads, riot shields, hoarded with tear gas equipment and of course “lathis” as the cavalry lined in battle formations, prepared for a full rampage. Therefore, it becomes trite that the government of the day proactively made no efforts to prevent the ransacking of the hospital before the incident took place. Is it perhaps because lawyers’ community has been collectively vociferous against any attempts by status quo to derail the independence of the judiciary? By tarnishing their reputation and labeling them as unprofessional, is there a sly attempt to shackle the hard fought independence of the judiciary in the future which is well guarded by the Honorable judges as well as the unity of lawyers?

Post PIC incident, did the government act in the best of interests of the state of Pakistan and as its agent to dispense its role as the head of the family? In a familial context, one would always attempt to placate rows between the organs of the family. Organs which are central to the stability of the family as opposed to delineating and preferring one over the other. As yet, the response from the government has been cold, stern and unrelenting. Such an attitude does not project any attempt on the government’s part to salvage the wreckage. Prime Minister Khan has taken notice of the matter, Chief Minister of Punjab Mr. Buzdar has taken up with the issue, the Minister for Information Mr Chohan had harsh words to offer after imprudently plunging into the PIC fiasco. So much so, arrested lawyers were inhumanly tortured in the dark confines of the prison cell the day before they were presented in front of the court. If the unlawful torture of the lawyers was not sufficient to rile the aggrieved legal community from the government, the police sanctioned by the provincial government attempted to exacerbate the open wounds of the legal community by escorting the arrested lawyers to the Anti-Terrorism Court with their faces cloaked in black masks, perhaps symbolising a comparison of Lawyers of Pakistan with a captured terrorist of a proclaimed terrorist organization which works to derail the ideology of Pakistan. If the government allows such comparisons to be drawn, then it risks alienating a pivotal community which contributes to the civil society.

The government of the day could have been the saviour by timely preventing the unfortunate incident which took place at the PIC. Nevertheless, the events following the morbid incident, the government should have been the conciliator to tame the dispute between the concerned lawyers and the doctors. As a preliminary, the government long before the PIC incident transpired, could at first instance, formed a committee comprising of the Provincial Health Minister, Provincial Health Secretary, Provincial Law Minister as well as the Law Secretary to facilitate a compromise between the two professional associations. They might have had conceived an idea to conciliate, had they themselves were unshackled.