The situation in the Federal Capital is swinging pendulum-like to the brink of disaster and then back to the point where a glimmer of hope appears for a mutually acceptable solution. The pragmatists however, are right in saying that the positions taken up by the three direct stake holders in the crisis have left little or no room for maneuver, thus limiting options for a settlement. There can also be no second opinion that intervention by politicians to resolve the logjam will be governed more by personal political mileage than by anything else. These politicians would be cognizant of the fact that a change of system and electoral reforms as envisaged by both PTI and PAT will run against them and their corrupt psyche. It is this fear that would and perhaps has, prompted them to band together against the Azadi March on the pretext of saving democracy.

This is a time when the PML N leadership is at its most vulnerable, in spite of the Zardari – Nawaz luncheon meeting held at Jati Umra. Disclosures by the former Additional Secretary of the Election Commission Mr. Afzal Khan have lent moral strength to agitating forces, generating more pressure on the ruling siblings. If proved correct, these disclosures will severely compromise the respect held for the former Chief Justice.

As far as the PM is concerned, his very office burdens him with moral obligations that demand sacrifices. One of these dictates that he should step out from the picture in an honorable manner so that the ongoing crisis does no more damage. By doing so, Mr. Nawaz Sharif would in reality be serving the cause of democracy and going down in history as someone who did the right thing in order to save Pakistan from anarchy and bloodshed.

In another development, speculation regarding the findings of the Judicial Commission Report on the Model Town incident were put to rest, when a private television channel broke the news and aired salient points of this probe. If the contents of the breaking news are correct, then there can be little doubt that the murder of PAT activists on 17 June 2014, was the result of orders issued by the Punjab Chief Minister and his Law Minister. Consequently, this is more than enough justification for the law to take its ‘blind’ course and even greater justification for the Punjab Chief Executive to tender his resignation and present himself for indictment or exoneration.

It is at this point in history that the credibility of our justice system is also being put to the ultimate test. It is a time when maxims like, “justice must not only be done, but must appear to have been done,” assume greater significance. I have watched my late grandfather and maternal uncle, who sat on the bench, exercise this principle in letter and spirit. If our justice system fails the nation in this time of crisis, it will always be remembered in words that I dare not pen. The nation therefore waits in the fervent hope that members of the Apex Judiciary exercise the powers given to them by the Constitution and bring an end to the situation as speedily as possible, even if it makes the resignation of the Prime Minister and his brother necessary. I say this because enough evidence has now appeared that makes the 2013 General Elections controversial. It would be in the interests of the State (and there can be no greater interest), that allegations regarding the polls are investigated in an environment that is free of pressure or fear. It is also imperative that electoral reforms be launched without bureaucratic delay and an electronic voting system be put in place, burying for good, any possibility of electoral malpractice.

 The writer is a freelance columnist.