LAHORE - Former chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, it seems, is out to open a new Pandora’s box at a time when the country is already facing many serious problems.

While launching the Pakistan Justice Democratic Critic Party (PJDCP) a couple of days ago he announced that his party would work for presidential form of government as, in his words, the parliamentary system given in the 1973 Constitution has failed to deliver. A few weeks ago the ex-CJP had written letters to various people he wanted to help his new “baby” grow, pointing out the failures of the parliamentary system and claiming that the presidential system is in accordance with the teachings of the Quaid-i-Azam.

Justice Chaudhry’s claim is refuted by most people as they insist that the Father of the Nation was in favour of the parliamentary system.

As things stand, there is not a single party which calls for switching over to presidential system. No party had even talked about this issue in the general elections held only in 2013. Therefore, this is a non-issue, and he is not expected to get public support to his maiden initiative after jumping into politics.

The only other person who can support presidential system is PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri. He could have proposed a referendum on this issue if the PML-N government had been overthrown as a result of the longest-ever PAT-PTI sit-in in Islamabad.

But needless to point out how “good allies” Justice Chaudhry and Dr Qadri can be keeping in mind their adversarial relationship.

The PAT chief had taken a very strong case against the Election Commission of Pakistan members before the 2013 elections. But the bench headed by Iftikhar Chaudhry dismissed the petition on the ground that the petitioner being a Canadian citizen had no locus standi.

It is an irrefutable fact that the issue of political system is a settled one and he who tried to reopen it would be doing a great disservice to the country.

Justice Chaudhry’s newfound love for the presidential system shows that although he had sworn allegiance to the Constitution - and thus parliamentary system - and he worked under it to his last day in office as the head of the apex court, he only reluctantly accepted the country’s political system.

A number of questions come to one’s mind. For example, what steps will have to be taken to switch over to the new system? What will be the fate of the 1973 Constitution? Can the new system be introduced just through a set of constitutional amendments? Is the existing parliament empowered to do so? Will a new constituent assembly have to be elected to frame a new Constitution with a new system of government? Can a new Constitution be framed at a time when the nation is so deeply divided and no political party has influence across the country? If not, what purpose will the new controversy about the change of system serve?

As stated above, no party is expected to support Justice Chaudhry’s agenda. Not the PML-N; not even his talented relative Rana Sanaullah Khan, the Punjab minister for law for the past several years.

The PPP has no love lost for him or his agenda. This party complains that as CJP he had caused it irreparable damage by removing Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani as prime minister.

The PTI holds him responsible for its defeat and the PML-N’s victory in the last general elections.

The ex-CJP won’t be supported by religious parties either.

Many prominent lawyers who had supported him in his movement after he was sacked as the CJP by Gen Musharraf have distanced themselves from him. Now they publicly speak against him.

Many lawyers allege that Justice Chaudhry had failed to root out corruption from the lower judiciary.

People who have to face lower courts speak a lot against the lower judiciary.

Similarly, though he was the most powerful CJP, he failed to improve the judicial system. His judicial policy has not expedited the disposal of cases according to the timelines set for various categories.

Though he took suo motu notices of various issues, they did not have long lasting impact on the state functionaries.

In such a situation, it will be miracle if Justice Chaudhry is supported by public at large. Politics is altogether a different ballgame and soon he would come to know the difference between passing orders against the mightiest from the judge’s chair and begging support from the ordinary mortals.