The successful return of PTI chief Imran Khan from the Judicial Complex in Islamabad where he appeared for a hearing in the Toshakhana reference has senior lawyers believing that he holds sway over judiciary unlike PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif.
Political analysts believe that the next couple of weeks will be crucial to decide whether the Punjab Assembly elections would be held on time or something would happen out of the box to curtail Imran’s pressure.
It is being witnessed that the PTI chief has given directions to his followers to question the authority of the security establishment as he blames it for his current troubles on the political front.
Reportedly, there is severe trust deficit between Imran and the ‘powerful circles’. Imran was also among those who made controversies regarding the nominations of army chief before the process even started.
On the other hand, the major ruling political parties – PML-N, PPP and JUI-F) want to obtain advantage from the prevailing political situation. However, their big challenge is not the popularity of Imran but the worsening economic condition of the country.
Though Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar agreed for a political dialogue with the PTI, the PDM leadership has disassociated itself from the law minister’s offer.
Political analysts say that the major ruling parties are convinced that it is difficult for them to confront Imran in the political field at the present. These parties are more interested in getting him disqualified from the court of law.
However, political analysts did not see these ruling parties gain any advantage if Imran is disqualification before the elections.
A senior PTI leader is hopeful that their relationship with the establishment will improve and signs in this regard will begin to appear soon.
Debate has also started on available options for powerful circles in case they fail to curtail Imran.
One of the top legal minds of a ruling party expressed his apprehension that if the situation will get out of control then any step can be taken by powerful circles.
Therefore, the next two weeks are very curicial.
However, role of the superior judiciary will be significant in the prevailing political situation.
The PTI’s main objective is to linger the Toshakhana case till the general elections of the National Assembly. The role of Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial will be significant in this connection.
The chief justice is known as a ‘balancing judge’ who does not give a free hand to one side to suppress the other since April last year.
He is retiring in September this year. His legacy is dependent on holding of the general elections during his tenure. However, the Supreme Court itself is facing a crisis of polarisation wherein judges are questioning each other’s conduct in their judicial orders.
Likewise, powerful circles are also upset over the suo motu proceedings regarding the holding of general elections of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa assemblies within 90 days. CJP Bandial is among those judges who did not pass coercive orders against the powerful circles.
The apex court is still facing a shortage of two judges. The senior judges could not evolve a consensus on the nominees for their elevation to the SC.
It is witnessed that after the happenings in the last couple of weeks, it is not just Imran but the judiciary is also facing a trial.
The PDM-led government wants Imran disqualified before the general elections.
It has been learnt that the PTI’s legal team has decided to approach the superior courts against the PDM leaders, who acquired gifts from the Toshakhana at lower prices.
Polirisation has increased in every segment of society. Judges as well as bars are also divided.
Senior lawyers say that if powerful circles take any step to tackle the PTI then the role of judiciary will be significant. Senior lawyers are criticising Imran for using party workers as protective shields in order to avert his possible arrest. They say that Imran is setting a bad precedent which may follow his rivals in case of their possible arrest.
Senior lawyers belonging to major political parties believe that unlike Nawaz, Imran has support of one section of judiciary.