The case in hand is the allocation of funds to the Election Commission for holding elections for the Punjab Assembly which triggered an onslaught of the judiciary by Executive-Legislature. Unlike the current constitutional deadlock in Pakistan, in such situations in many other countries, the orders of the courts were obeyed without any reservation. In 2019, the Philippine Commission on Elections (COMELEC) requested the court to order the government to provide additional funds to cover the expenses for the May 2019 midterm elections. The request was granted, and the funds were released in time for the elections. The court’s decision was also endorsed by the legislature. In 2020, the Supreme Court of India directed the Election Commission of India (ECI) to conduct elections in the state of Bihar by November 2020. The ECI requested additional funds from the government to cover the expenses for the elections, and the government immediately released the funds. The legislative branch also passed a resolution supporting the government’s decision to provide funds for the elections. I have not the slightest doubt that the competent legal aids of the executive and legislative branches are fully aware of the fundamental and unavoidable need to uphold the provisions of the constitution, which provide the basis and foundation of a civilized society as opposed to the law of the jungle. Then, what are the stakes that motivate the Executors-legislatures to band together against the constitution and the judiciary, which is making every effort to uphold the relevant provision of the constitution? It is a question of the very existence of PML(N), which is facing imminent routing if the elections are held as per the dictates of the constitution. In an interview that aired today (18 April 2023), the Defence Minister elaborated on what makes Punjab elections so exceptional and high-stakes. If elections are held, the entire effort to change the regime will be in vain. According to him, whichever party (in this case, PTI) won the elections in Punjab, which accounts for 65 per cent of the country’s population, would certainly sweep the general elections whenever held and may even win a two-thirds majority of the parliament. This would be a death knell for constituent parties of the PDM, especially PML(N). The PPP would most likely retain Sindh and PML(N) would be left with nothing in the centre or Punjab for the next five years. This will even neutralize Nawaz Sharif, who is eagerly awaiting his return to Pakistan as a celebrity rather than a convict in the hopes of becoming prime minister for a fourth and likely final time, given his age and failing health. This revelation of the truth by a PMN(L) stalwart is ample evidence as to why PML(N) with the tacit support of the establishment is fighting tooth and nail, against every political, administrative, and judicial move which endorses the constitutional provision to hold elections within 90 days in case assemblies are dissolved prematurely, even though they know in their hearts that by doing so they would be trampling the constitution and breaking the law, they are also aware that if they lose this battle, they will lose the opportunity to govern the country for at least the next five years, which is too big a risk to take, even bigger than violating the constitution and facing the contempt of court. In this war of survival of PDM and especially PMN(N), the constitution and the people of Pakistan are the biggest casualties. This war is not fought on the question of the superiority of one pillar of the state over the other but on the basis that everything is fair in love and war. It is a question of the very existence of PML(N), which is facing imminent routing first in Punjab and later in the centre, if the elections are held as per the dictates of the constitution. They are using all arrows in their bow to remain in power, buy time, neutralize Imran Khan by hook or by crook and bring Nawaz Sharif back to prop up PMN(L). In their desperation, they have pushed the constitution away, knowing full well that constitutionality is supreme, not the pillars of the state that operate under the constitution’s dictates or the vested interests. According to the constitution, neither the judiciary nor the legislative or executive branches may exceed their respective limits. The Judiciary should be free from the influence of the executive and the legislature to advance the goals of justice. Where the judiciary protects the rights of the people against the encroachment of the government or any other organization or person, the superior courts enforce the fundamental rights of the people through the appropriate writs of Judicial order- of the nature of Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, Certiorari, Quo Warranto, etc. To render the judiciary impotent is akin to abolishing the constitution and law in the nation, which can only be restored by popular movements. Now that civil society has awakened once more, we are observing all the necessary signs of civil movement to uphold the Constitution and protect the judiciary from the combined assault of the Executive and the legislature. Let us hope and do everything in our individual and collective power to uphold the country’s constitution and rule of law, which are the foundation of a civilized society. (Concluded) The writer is a former press secretary to the President and former press minister to the Embassy of Pakistan to France.