The honourable Chief Justice’s almost confirmation that the critics of his – and it is his, before it is anyone else’s, let it be known – dam fund will be tried for treason.

Almost because the only thing he confirmed was the fact that the critics of the dam fund were traitors, and given the fact that this came from the topmost judge in the country, should a petition be filed in this regard, the conclusion would be obvious.

Even so, it is perhaps worth stressing that maybe it’s time for the Parliament to pass an amendment to the Constitution in this regard, and formally add the dam fund to Article 6. For, what if there is another Chief Justice with a different interpretation on the matter in the future?

While we’re on it, maybe there should be formal legislation on the name of the fund as well, given that the Supreme Court has been bringing that up quite frequently. Whose name should come first, whose second, and so on, should be passed into law as well.

What is without a shadow of a doubt is the fact as to who will not be a part of the fund’s name: those people being asked to pay up. It is also within this category that the subgroup of those critics, those dam traitors, exists.

One would have to say that trying these traitors for treason would set the record straight. For, there is no better way of telling the masses that don’t you bloody dare hold us accountable just because we’re asking for your money.

Imagine if the masses started holding everybody accountable? Imagine if TV channels started showing how luxuriously every institutional leader was living? Imagine if people actually started wondering what happens to their money?

Even though all these treason trials would be open and shut cases, it is very important that they don’t run akin to other similar cases. For instance, the accused – and obviously guilty as charged – shouldn’t be allowed to fly to Dubai in the middle of court proceedings, or being given exemption after exemption from even being a part of it.

Imagine a person obviously guilty of violating the Constitution’s Article 6 – which should soon have the dam fund written quite clearly – walking around free, appearing on TV channels, watching cricket matches in the VIP box?

No self-respecting judges of the apex court of any sovereign state would want that.

Hence, what these judges should further do is issue contempt of court notices to these traitors as well, for being critical of the dam fund, just because it would take slightly longer than a couple of lifetimes to build it – or because it doesn’t factor in provincial autonomies and certain amendments – or because it is not economically feasible.

And while we’re on contempt of court, maybe another legislation could be passed on rewording the term as well. For, quite often, it isn’t clear if the court has been the target of contempt or some larger than life individual. Maybe even do away with contempt and put in the word ‘disagree’.

Oh, how about disagreeing itself being declared an act of treason? And maybe blasphemy as well. That would get everyone to fall in line!

That way Tehrik-e-Labbaik Pakistan can become the custodian of the dam fund, just like they are currently safeguarding the Second Amendment to the Constitution and Ordinance XX of the Pakistan Penal Code.

With constitutional custodians like Khadim Rizvi not only would the traitors be silenced – one way or the other – maybe more people would step forward and give money to the TLP just like they gave them vote. Maybe then it might only take one and four-fifths of a lifetime to build the dam.

 

The writer is a Lahore-based journalist.