THE judiciary and the executive seem headed towards an inevitable clash in the wake of the brazen and premature manner in which the President is pardoning convicted or allegedly guilty cronies and the government's determined position not to write to the Swiss authorities. Meanwhile, the Law Minister who had earlier declared that ministers were not answerable to any court is now going around distributing state largesse to groups of lawyers in different provinces. However, despite the pressure and propaganda to shift public sentiment in favour of the executive and its extra-legal antics, the Chief Justice has continued to emphasise on the judiciary's determination that justice will be done come what may. This is as it should be and the nation craves justice for all - including the elite of the land who so far have always managed to escape paying for their sins of omission and commission. The government is determined to continue on this corruption-infested path. In fact, given the open defiance of the courts being displayed by the President and the executive in terms of their actions, it simply makes a further mockery of the judiciary when the president tells his party men to give "full respect to the courts" and the prime minister makes a call to the CJP and declares his government's "respect" for the courts. If this is not open ridicule of the judiciary, what is? Clearly, the PPP has formulated a new meaning of the word "respect" which does not gel with the traditional dictionary meaning of this word Unfortunately, the executive has also begun an insidious campaign against the judiciary at multiple levels: splits are being created in the rank and file of the lawyers organisations; state money is being handed out at a time when the poor really need some investment in their survival; the media is being fed the line that perhaps there is an "unreasonableness" about certain judicial decisions while the political supporters are being emotively hyped up in support of the PPP leadership's shenanigans. Some party loyalists are showing no restraint in the extent to which they are prepared to go - and historical religious examples are also being subject to distortions in the process - to support the President on the issue of his immunity and his right to grant pardons - a la monarchical style It is a pity that the main opposition party and its leadership continues to maintain an ambivalent posture on this whole drama being enacted to once and for all undermine the judiciary so that the old system of governance - with rampant corruption, nepotism and no accountability can continue to flourish in this country as it has done for over six decades. It will be an uphill struggle for the judiciary to sustain its independence but it is our only hope of national revival and progress.