When I tell my friends that constitutional rule is the only thing that can save Pakistan from disintegration, they laugh. Some of them even say that in every country in the world, it's the army that calls the shots. Even in the U.S., they say, the Pentagon rules the country. But the facts are different. In the U.S. and other democracies, there is strict accountability, and I'm sure that even Trump will one day be banned by the courts from running for election. But in Pakistan you can only criticize the real rulers in private, when you're sure you won't be reported to the authorities.

So, at the conference yesterday in honor of the late Asma Jehangir, when the eccentric lawyer Ali Ahmed Kurd declared that the entire judiciary of Pakistan was subservient to the generals, it wasn't surprising that no TV channel telecast his speech, although the rebuttal by the Chief Justice was given prominence. But it was the social media that distributed the video of the closing remarks made by Kurd.

Of course the CJP (Gulzar) was being economical with the truth when he said that no decision under pressure had ever been taken by the judges. He conveniently forgot Justice Nasim Hassan Shah saying that Bhutto had been sentenced to death under pressure by the generals. Then there is Musharraf's video about how the then army chief Raheel Sharif put pressure on the generals to get him (Musharraf) out of the country.

I doubt if my Punjabi friends will ever understand that the real icons of the country are people like Kurd, Asma Jehangir, Hamid Mir and others like them. But, as Ayaz Amir said, the problem with Pakistan is that it is dominated by Punjab. Until and unless Punjab is broken up into three provinces, this problem will remain. But until then, we can only pray that the country doesn't disintegrate due to interference by the men in khaki.