By Ansar Mahmood Bhatti
PTI chairman Imran Khan has announced to observer Nov 02 as Youm-e-Tashakur for what he termed victory of their stand in the Supreme Court on the issue of Panama leaks. While faces of other party leaders lacked badly traditionally glow that they used to wear when their leader delivered his speeches, Imran Khan gave another call to his workers to flock to Islamabad’s Democracy Park, commonly known as the parade ground. For many Imran Khan’s decision came as a sheer surprise as they had already girded up their loins for the Nov 2 dharna. Even PML Q , perhaps the only ally of PTI in this exercise, expressed its disappointment over this decision. The most interesting remark came from Dr. Tahirul Qadri who also felt disappointed, despite the fact that he himself had taken a couple of U-turns in the past. He marched towards Islamabad two times and on both occasions he had to go back empty handed.
Anyhow, analysts believe Imran Khan’s move may also be a political gimmick because with the number of supporters available at his Bani Gala residence it was next to impossible to pose any potential threat to government. Likewise, the biggest reinforcement which was expected to come from KPK could not arrive, which dented dharna plans substantially. Now, gathering in the Parade ground may be a first step towards execution of Plan B that first gather sizeable number of people and then execute any dharna plans. If that is the thinking within the PTI leadership, then for sure government may be in deep trouble. If not, then PTI better pack up and wait for 2018 elections.
And probably, Imran Khan and key party leaders have a strong realization that they may not be able to have elections before the stipulated time. That is why they are only demanding resignation of the prime minster, though PTI won’t get anything even if the prime minister steps down. But then the question, which most of the analysts raise, is there anybody who is going to get benefit if the prime minister resigns?
There are certain voices within the PTI that the party leadership should accept formation of commission with this condition that the prime minister may be suspended for a specific time or till the time the commission concludes its hearings and if the PM gets a clean chit he can re-take his office. Of course, PML N would never accede to this demand. All eyes are now riveted on the apex court and Thursday’s proceedings will surely determine the future course of action of various political parties including the PTI.