19 January, 2021

Theatre Of The Absurd

As every institution of the state takes the other on, the country's constitutional crisis deepens

Theatre Of The Absurd

NOVEMBER 28 will go down as one of the most bizarre days in the history of Pakistan—its judiciary in particular. At 9.40 am, the five-member Supreme Court bench headed by chief justice Sajjad Ali Shah had just started hearing the contempt petition against prime minister Nawaz Sharif. His counsel, top Pakistani lawyer S.M. Zafar, was arguing that before the case against the embattled prime minister could be taken up, the status of the bench hearing the case itself needed to be settled. He had been talking for little under an hour when suddenly everyone sitting in Courtroom No. 1 heard some rather strange sounds outside.

As Sajjad described it in an order later in the evening, "a big commotion was heard as if there was a riot outside the courtroom and slogans were being raised. It appeared that a big mob wanted to rush into the courtroom". Just then a journalist managed to gain entry into the courtroom and shouted that the mob was trying to get in. The court was immediately adjourned, but some members of the ruling Pakistan...



To read this piece, and more such stories in India's most exciting and exacting magazine, plus get access to our 25-year archives goldmine, please subscribe.

In this article:

More from Sunil Narula

Latest Magazine

January 25, 2021

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section