To Newer Politics


Seemingly having endured enough of the flair of the political elite to drag the honourable name of state institutions in a bid to seek easy fame (nothing sells like controversy), the Islamabad High Court wags its finger and gets ready to lay down the law.
After all, the country’s short history has seen an unruly mob led by PML(N) Lions storm the Supreme Court a quarter-of-a-century ago. What trailblazed in the recent past has been a vicious rope-pulling game in which all sides strive to strike the heaviest blow. If the PTI let slip the instinct to get dirty when its member attacked PTV headquarters in 2014, the ruling PDM performed no better with its abusive tirade of personal attacks against judges over a verdict just last month.
To say that Mr Imran Khan is paying for the transgressions of all his brethren when he is being dragged over the coals for comments considered an explicit threat to district and sessions judge Zeba Chaudhry would, however, be quite off-the mark because the courts are still acknowledging his constitutionally-guaranteed right to a free trial. Mr Khan might have forgotten the necessity of red lines in the frenzy to enjoy his freedom of speech (Article 19) at a heated rally, but the law has not, which is likely why he was first granted protective bail. Nevertheless, by reminding the chairman of the responsibilities assigned to a leader of his stature and overall oblivion of the political parties to the ruthless campaigns unleashed on social media, Chief Justice Athar Minallah was in no mood to mince his words.
His promise to not let the contempt of court be “misused,” come what may, is nothing short of a holy inscription for the politicians who better think twice before slinging mud on any pillar of the state. The hearing roared with aplenty mic-drop moments, most well-founded of which was, “Change will come when the constitution will be supreme and civilian supremacy will be upheld.”
What Mr Khan decides to do with this new leeway is for him and his counsel to decide but the higher judiciary has very eloquently set the mood for a saner, polite version of discourse to finally come out of hiding and take the place of unsavoury banter we have become accustomed to. Here’s to the politicians realising that they cannot get away with scraping the bottom of the barrel for a little limelight. At the end of the day, words are like wild horses, aren’t they?