Over the last number of weeks now we have quietly followed the news on the Chief Justice’s removal case even as the paishis keep happening but also keep getting postponed.
That may happen again today but it should be clear by now to everyone that this issue is not going to die away and as it winds through the system, instead of other (very dramatic) news eroding the importance of this case, the symbolic value of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry’s stand is actually increasing.
The lawyers will be at the court once again today. Once again there is talk of protests and showdowns. Once again, the likely result is of hearings being postponed. But important events also continue unfolding even as this happens.
A few that are worth reminding ourselves of include:
A bench of the Supreme Court has now served notice on President Pervez Musharraf on the CJÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s petition challenging the filing of a reference against him.
Prominent lawyer Sharifuddin Pirzada has agreed to represent the government in the Supreme Court on the issue, after having declined to do so earlier.
PML-Q is planning a major demonstration in response to the anti-government demonstrations on the issue and, reportedly, has brought in its supporters from other cities for this. There are indications that we may be in for a ‘clash of the protestors’ today.
The National Assembly saw an uproar over the judiciary issue and there were heated exchanges between government and oposition leaders on the CJ issue; not surprisingly, Law Minister Wasi Zafar was in the forefront of trying to suppress the debate.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry continues to attract much support and large crowds, especially within the lawyer community, including judges.
Piecing together the puzzle and making sense of it all is, of course, leading to much speculation everywhere and by everyone. Much of it is exactly that – speculation. But one thing is clear; this case has taken on a life that is bigger than either Gen. Musharraf or Justice Iftikhar would have imagined it would have when things started unravelling three weeks ago.