There is a frisson of anxiety hereabouts. Whilst the removal of the unlamented Mr Gilani may have been overdue, there is a sneaking suspicion that it ought to have been parliament rather than the judiciary that wielded the axe.
And then there is the matter of what is next on the agenda for our busy judges. Is the incoming PM to be in their sights as he eases himself into his seat to pen, or not, a letter to somebody in Switzerland?
Because if he does not then we are in for a re-run of events of the last year and we begin to look a tad silly. Will the apex bench be pursuing assorted ‘scandals’ and ‘gates’ with a similar alacrity and attention to detail as they have our dilatory PM? Perhaps, and only time will tell.
Unlike some I do not see the ouster of Gilani as a judicial coup, but I do see it as a symptom of just how out of kilter things have got in Pakistan – especially as the man who has been selected to replace him was, when minister of water and power, told to belt up by Mr Gilani and stop promising to end loadshedding by December.
He did not and was removed. His grip on both reality and the niceties of power management were clearly wanting then and one wonders at what might have changed. Is Mr Ashraf going to be any more likely to get juice back in the wires than he was a couple of years ago?
Only if he can cut the circle of circular debt, and as that entails treading on a number of powerful toes the chances of that happening are remote.
Which takes us to the very top and the man who stares at goats. Whilst never a fan of Big Zed I do have to hand it to him – he has durability built in. Many have predicted his downfall, none have been right and he will still be president even if the PPP lose the next election.
Not a bad trick if you can pull it off. He has just appointed a man who represents zero threat to him as PM, a man who is expendable politically and will be no great loss if he falls by the wayside or on his own sword as Gilani did. There are others in the basket to use as necessary.
There may be calls for an early election, perhaps to be heeded as it would forestall any traction that the PTI might gain, catching them wrong-footed and unprepared even after 16 years, to fill an A4 side with closely typed policy defined in all its detail. Tsunami? I think not.
The parliamentary opposition performs with all the savagery of a bunch of bananas, the military watches in horror but has the sense to stay out of it – if only because it does not want to be carrying the can when the entire house of cards eventually folds. So no threats there, then.
And, approaching and heralded by trumpets, we have the impending completion of a full parliamentary term by a civilian government. This is being hailed as an achievement, which it would have been had those five years seen Pakistan edge forwards by incremental steps, finding its feet in the ever-changing landscape of democracy.
Instead, the opposite. The economy is tanking, what friends we had are quietly absenting the stage and the State Bank is printing money not quite as fast as the government is spending it. Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown? Nope...not while there are goats to stare at.
The writer is a British social worker settled in Pakistan. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org