In a bid to fix its previous shortcomings and to finally rout Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s damaged rule, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) planned to march on Islamabad yet again earlier this month. This time, per the group’s claims, preparations were high and expectations therefore skyrocketed within PTI’s ranks. PTI Chairman Imran Khan, banking more on his social media fame and less on realities on the ground, was more passionate than he was in 2014 — the last time PTI staged mass protects in the capital. Khan roamed around big cities and rolled the pitch, believing this was the final match between PTI and the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
One doesn’t need to memorize Imran Khan’s call for Sharif’s resignation, since he seemingly starts and ends each day with the same demand. However, one should remember his last ‘crusade’ in 2014. Thousands of his men, helped by Tahir-ul-Qadri (the head of the political party Pakistan Awami Tehreek), assaulted Nawaz’s legitimacy and embattled their opponent for 126 days. Imran and Qadri’s supporters encamped at D-Chowk with their dances, chants, and bravado. Since the two leaders and their followers were bare-handed or meagerly equipped, they could only attack the National Assembly (NA) and Pakistan Television (PTV). Their bid to ‘liberate’ the people from Sharif ended without removing the prime minister, though Khan was quick to claim “success” regardless. Imran and Qadri thus packed in their dharna (sit-in).
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