It could not have been easy for the full bench of the Supreme Court to conduct proceedings in the full glare of the cameras but to the millions watching, it felt like this is how it always was, or at least how it always should have been. The decision to broadcast the proceedings live via state broadcaster PTV, will go down in history as a welcome one, an idea whose time is now. Riveting, with discourse not out of place in the most celebrated varsities in the world, for the first time ever, people in Pakistan had a front row seat in Courtroom One of the Supreme Court.
Justices known by name were heard in their own words speaking on camera; notable attorneys and their arguments soared and plummeted. All in full view of the public.
Young persons watching yesterday might have seen in action for the first time, men and women exercising legal professional excellence. Some of these young persons, for the first time, might have had the thought that they too would one day add their voice to this rich discourse and change the destiny of their country. This serves as much needed inspiration for a new audience that the Supreme Court never had before yesterday.
Not to be ignored is the professionalism of the PTV camera crew that brought these proceedings to our screens. With no time to prepare and practice, there was little to no error in the performance of their duties. With 15 Justices of the Supreme Court to pan to, all speaking extempore and in a live setting, the PTV team deserves praise for seamless camerawork and production.
It may not be possible every day, it may not be possible or even feasible for every case, but where a constitutional change is being discussed let this tradition established by Chief Justice Qazi Faiz Isa continue. Let this tradition also demonstrate the unity of the Supreme Court. Not in uniformity of opinion, but in the presentation of the group of 15, united, eminently capable, and distinguished in their mantles. Wherever possible, let transparency shine down like sunlight, and let the trust and faith of the people of Pakistan in their institutions deepen and strengthen.