I have quit relationships, jobs and even some social beliefs – but by far, the most painful thing I ever quit was a hope that one of the most important institutions of Pakistan can maintain the judicial integrity to deliver justice to avoid both constitutional and political crises. Recent events have highlighted the brutal truth: those who could solve this crisis have no interest in doing so. Crossing fingers and hoping for the good is barely a sensible way to tackle the calamity, but it is a strategy that everyone seems determined to follow now. It hurts people. It also hurts the Constitution. I found myself anxious about the three-member bench verdict, the president and prime minister at war, a divided judiciary, the IMF cat-and-mouse game and the political turmoil doing lasting damage to the future of a nation. These wars, experiments and choices remain the theatre of cruelty. It is springtime in Pakistan and a constitutional crisis looms largely, after the three-member bench of the Supreme Court declares Election Commission’s decision to postpone Punjab’s elections ‘unconstitutional’ and announced that general elections of the Punjab Assembly will take place on May 14. Many legal experts are raising questions, particularly about the addiction of a three-member bench in early elections with no interest in the country’s financial illness and toxic culture. It was a record-breaking performance astonishingly expensive, and unnecessary. We have got it, anyway.What astonishes me is the bench’s decision to not only set a date for polling but to also give out a detailed election schedule for the remaining stages of the election. This is a withering way to deliver justice which has swallowed a constitutional body in front of the nation’s eye. Crossing fingers and hoping for the good is barely a sensible way to tackle the calamity, but it is a strategy that everyone seems determined to follow now. Now two potent branches of Pakistan’s democratic system the executives and the judiciary are openly at war. Many political leaders have repeatedly expressed their lack of confidence in the three-member Supreme Court bench and demanded the top court constitute a full court to hear the Punjab elections delay the case. The uncertainty surrounding the present issue has deepened further about the chief justice’s power to take suo moto notices and preferences of particular judges when constituting benches to hear constitutionally critical cases. Last month, two judges – Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail – challenged the chief justice’s power to form a bench or take suo motu notices. They even called for revisiting the power of the “one-man show” enjoyed by the chief justice. This sent out a message of division in the superior judiciary at a time when Pakistan is surrounded by a hurricane of political and economic issues. You best be silent and let the politicians tell you. Our judicial system, without exaggeration, is on the verge of collapse after hurtling on unstoppably, through a series of scandals, misconduct, and judicial activism. Many observers have written the judicial activism of former Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhary and Saqib Nisar had catastrophic ramifications for the nation’s integrity. As expected, to this day, there has been no accountability for their erratic conduct. The audio leaks saga involving top Judges is depressing, once again justice didn’t take its course to investigate accusations. To my mind, this indicates Pakistan’s justice system is handcuffed and stuck in a dark age. For many, a journey through the system is something akin to a nightmare. But surely, Pakistan needs rapid judicial reforms to wake the sleeping justice. Another frequent theme of Pakistan’s judicial history is the poor and arbitrary judgments lacking any legal substance. For instance, Molvi Tameezuddin, Zulifqar Ali Bhutto case and the recent Panama case are prime examples which will warp our history and character for many generations to come. They did their best to put our future in peril. The long arm of the law remains a museum of embarrassment for Pakistan. What greets me as I step through social media platforms or news channels, is the wholesale use of suo motu powers, the breaking and making of benches. A close exploration of judicial history in the country about its controversial and politicized role depicts that the root cause lies down in the procedure of appointment of the judges in the High Courts and their further elevation to the superior judiciary. Nevertheless, a lack of judicial integrity is stopping Pakistan from reaching its economic and social potential. Tainted judicial integrity feeds injustice and injustice feeds further injustice. It creates conditions for poverty, hunger, and crime to prosper. An Independent judiciary is indispensable to society. If the judicial system of Pakistan is not reformed timely on the principle of fairness, accountability, and openness it could result in an unprecedented disaster and can pose a grave menace to the existence and sovereignty of the country. Pakistan’s justice system probably needs a change of gear. According to the statistics gathered by the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan superior and lower judiciaries are dealing with a huge backlog of 2.144 million cases. Briefly, our justice system is not accessible, convenient, inclusive, transparent, and non-discriminatory. This has become hazardous to the country’s health. It only serves one segment of society, for them, this is a perfect season to re-imagine and reform a bespoke justice system. Although a bill aimed at curtailing the powers of the chief justice of Pakistan has sailed through the National Assembly, it has generated a new controversy as the timing of this legislation is being called into question. Such reforms in the Supreme Court’s rules have been a long-standing dream of all mainstream political parties in the country. The most consequential political story in Pakistan isn’t the Elections in Punjab. It’s howling through the verdict of the three-member bench of the Supreme Court. Beyond that fact, nothing seems to be more essential to the stability of a country than a robust judicial system. The development of vigorous frameworks, including the adoption and implementation of codes of conduct and disciplinary systems to institute an impartial and independent judiciary, is a cornerstone for the stability of Pakistan. And I am very confident this isn’t on the tray of our stakeholders. The writer is based in UK, and has specialization in health informatics from Johns Hopkins University.