The supreme court lived up to the status conferred upon it by the constitution, the nation’s magna carta and the very foundation of its existence. It withstood the combined assault of the executive and legislature and refused to be intimidated by the blatant and derogatory comments made by politicians and a portion of the media. It remained calm in the face of threats, intimidation, threats, and personal attacks. It exercised extreme and unprecedented restraint and refrained from becoming involved in issues other than the implementation of the Constitution. The Supreme Court did not expand the scope of the case to include political parties, the government, or the legislature, nor did it react to the insulting, derogatory, and personal attacks from the vast majority of civil society, except for a few sane elements, whose larger national interests are only served, when the constitution is held supreme, and not the state’s pillars or the vested interests of political parties or the establishment. The supreme courts withstood the pressure and insisted that the government provide 20 billion rupees for holding elections. They also rejected the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Defense’s request to hold the elections of both provincial and national assemblies on a single date, which according to their interpretation and desire is October or later, and insisted that the Punjab Assembly elections be held on May 14. It even raised questions about the defence ministry’s ability to make such a suggestion. Unfazed by the belligerent intimidation of the government, parliament, and election commission, the supreme court has revealed all of its cards, reaffirming and emphasizing the finality of its order to hold elections on May 14, 2023. Though the government and, by extension, the legislature, used every tool at their disposal to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision, the Supreme Court’s unwavering stance neutralized these lethal unconstitutional assaults. Current conditions are crystal clear. Either the government, its subordinate institutions, and the election commission will hold free and fair elections on 14 May, or they will face the ruthless sword of contempt of court, which could result in the rolling of many heads. If the government or state institutions refuse to obey the supreme court’s orders to execute the punishment awarded to contempt, this would lead to a breach of the constitution and the rule of law in the country, leaving civil society and the people of Pakistan to use their street power to carry out the court’s orders and restore constitutional order. Therefore, it is in the best interests of all institutions to either hold elections on May 14 or accept the sanction imposed for noncompliance and allow their replacements to comply with the court’s orders. Unfazed by the belligerent intimidation of the government, parliament, and election commission, the supreme court has revealed all of its cards. In a further display of restraint, the supreme court proposed to the political parties that they reach a consensus through democratic means to resolve the constitutional crisis and provide some peace of mind to the unfortunate people of Pakistan, who are the greatest casualty, while maintaining its order to hold elections on 14 May. However, moving forward will have varying impacts on various stakeholders. For some, it is of no consequence whether elections are held as directed by the courts, whereas, for others, it is fraught with dangers, obstacles, and threats to their very existence. Amir of Jamat Islami has emerged as the optimal compromise between advocating dialogue and locating a middle ground acceptable to all parties. The spokesman of PTI, Ch Fawad Hussain, although favoured negotiation on one point agenda to discuss the election date, conditioned it with creating enabling conditions, which, according to him, can only be created when their leaders arrested on basis of frivolous trivial and baseless cases are released. The state needs to stop harassing its leaders and political workers and the ban imposed on PTI leaders to appear in the media should be lifted. People Party has emerged as possibly the only PDM constituent party actively advocating dialogue to prevent the escalation of hostilities that could lead to the use of physical force. It is also attempting, albeit unsuccessfully, to convince PDM members to engage in dialogue. It goes without saying that negotiations favour the PPP, as it has less invested in Punjab than the PML(N) and will continue to control Sindh regardless of the outcome of elections in Punjab and the centre. It would be suicidal for PML(N) to hold elections at this time. Not only is it destined to lose Punjab, but it may also face a total inhalation in the centre making the stakes of the PML(N) higher than any other party in the run. Therefore, understandably, Maryam Nawaz, the leader of the PML(N), has refused to negotiate, citing the PTI as a terrorist organization and its leader as a terrorist. However, some PML(N) stalwarts, albeit implicitly, are seeking a political solution to the crisis, with Shahbaz Sharif at the helm, who is making desperate efforts to escape the death trap set for him by those elements within the PML(N) who wish to seize the position of prime minister for themselves. The most unexpected, vehement, and ferocious refusal to negotiate came from JUI, which, interestingly, has its origins in the Quran and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Its leader, in a visibly angry and aggressive tone, categorically refused to negotiate with the PTI, stating that previously the army used to shepherd us, and now the courts are arm-twisting us to negotiate, which will not work at this time. He may have forgotten what his behaviour should have been if he had followed the Prophet’s (PBUH) example in dealing with tense political and security situations and how he averted impending battles by pursuing politics and diplomacy and succeeded in establishing social harmony. Perhaps, he was so blinded by his anger, hatred, and proven animosity for Imran Khan that he forgot to refer to the Prophet’s behaviour during the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah (628 CE) when the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) signed a 10-year peace treaty between the Muslims and the Meccans despite being in a position of strength. He also conveniently disregarded the Prophet’s sunnah when he (PBUH) signed the Treaty of Khaybar (628 CE) with the Jews, who had a large army, but the Prophet neutralized them by entering negotiations and signing the treaty, which allowed the Muslims to live in peace in the region and share agricultural produce with the Jews. He also forgot the Treaty of Aqaba (621 CE) with the people of Medina, which allowed Muslims to migrate to Medina and contributed to the establishment of the first Muslim community there. Maulana Sahib may have also neglected to mention the preamble of our constitution, which stipulates, among other things, that Islam is the state religion and that in this state the Islamic principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance, and social justice shall be observed in their entirety. Why Moulana Sahib forgot “Tolerance” and forgiveness is incomprehensible. Although Moulana Fazal ul Rehman, like other Moulanas, is accustomed to delivering sermons on the message of peace, tolerance, brotherhood, and forgiveness, it may be time for him to apply his teachings and use the occasion of Eid al Fitr to greet all politicians, including Imran Khan, embrace him, and wish him a blessed Eid. The Eid holiday could not have arrived at a more appropriate time. It will give the judiciary, executive, and legislature a much-needed break, bring them out of their fortresses and politically charged atmospheres, and into the comfortable and welcoming folds of the family, where they can meet and greet friends, relatives, neighbours, and acquaintances, which may entice them to resort to self-inspection and consider the plight of the people of Pakistan, who are fighting tooth and nail to win bread for their families without butter, new clothes, new shoes, and perhaps not even anything to eat. During this blessed break all pillars of the state may realize that when their country is facing political polarization, economic upheaval, and constitutional crisis, they may work together to address the situation and find solutions that are in the best interests of the country and its people. They should use the political tools of collaboration and Communication in tandem with the media, civil society, and the public to find the root causes of the crisis and come up with effective solutions. All pillars should adhere to the Constitution and Rule of Law to ensure that their actions and decisions are in accordance with the principles and values enshrined in the Constitution and that they are accountable and should observe complete transparency in their actions and decisions. They must ensure that the public is informed about the situation and that their decisions and actions are open to scrutiny and review. They must remain patient and persevering, and work towards resolving the crisis through peaceful means and constructive dialogue, rather than resorting to violence or other forms of coercion. Importantly, they may once in their lives attempt to emulate the best crisis resolution and optimal solution-finding practices of our beloved Prophet (PBUH). Let us hope and pray that after the Eid holiday, the country will witness solutions that are in the best interest of the country and its people, who wake up every day with the hope that the days to come will be better than those they have spent in agony, pain, and despair. The writer is a former press secretary to the President and former press minister to the Embassy of Pakistan to France.