By Salahuddin Haider
Although the intensity of the crisis gripping Pakistan politics for well over three months has subsided to a great extent, it is far from over.
Apparently, tables have turned on Imran Khan, the initiator the movement calling for an end to corruption and resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Khan is facing problems one after another. People are keeping their fingers crossed and waiting for the much-trumpeted Nov.30 rally in Islamabad, which may prove to be a turning point in Pakistan’s politics. It is, undoubtedly, a make or break situation for Imran Khan and his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI).
The apparent failure of the twin sit-ins in Islamabad — one organized by the PTI and the other by Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) led by Dr. Tahirul Qadri — has come to the Sharif-led government as a huge relief. It, however, is certainly not out the woods.
With the passage of time, Khan’s protest movement is rapidly losing steam and the PTI-organized sit-in in Islamabad has reduced to nothingness, as people are seemingly getting frustrated over the inefficacy of Khan’s tactics. Unlike the initial days, the number of people attending the sit-in has reduced. Khan appears to be the lone warrior in the wilderness with almost no support from the political quarters. His strategy to address rallies for public support in major cities, is yet to assume an effective dimension.
It would not be exaggeration to say that political fates of both Khan and Sharif now hang in the balance. Khan is fighting on different fronts. The reported rebellion in his own party could deal a severe blow to Khan and his political ambitions. Various PTI parliamentarians are not ready to tender their resignations on the directives of their leader.
People are waiting for the return of Qadri. If they successfully manage to organize their movements in rural areas, it might create problems for Sharif.–AN