Lahore rally

  • In my beginning is my end

Keeping in view the chemistry of what was presented as a tri-partite alliance, its first show of power was bound to end in fiasco. Tahirul Qadri, the part-time politician, wanted to overthrow Punjab government immediately and to return to Canada to look after his sectarian empire. The PPP was unwilling to go beyond exposing Nawaz Sharif and his party’s rule, without harming the system. Zardari also wanted to rouse the sagged morale of party workers through sheer braggadocio. The PTI wanted the PML-N rule to end urgently but was divided over the tactics to achieve the objective, with a strong lobby opposed to resignations or dismissal of KP Assembly. The rest of the “18 parties” were in the rally only to inform the public through flags, banners and leaders’ pictures that they continued to exist. The parties failed to come up with a plan of action for future protest strategy at the end of the rally as promised earlier by Qadri.

Qadri failed to bring together Imran Khan and Zardari on the same stage. The moment Zardari left the first session of the rally after addressing it, the PPP workers followed him leaving many chairs empty. Imran Khan who presided over the second session failed to fulfill the promise of bringing with him PTI workers in full force. Qadri’s pied piper magic too failed to work this time as he could attract fewer of his own followers. The rally turned out to be an unimpressive show.

The curses hurled by Sheikh Rashid and Imran Khan against parliament showed their true stripes. Bilawal tweeted that the PPP will never endorse disrespecting parliament. The next day Khursheed Shah condemned the affront to parliament in NA. There is a perception that after exhausting the limited repertoire of tactics at their disposal like holding rallies and sit-ins the two leaders are at their wits’ end regarding their future plan of action. The PML-N apparently faces a bigger challenge from internal differences and a deteriorating economy than from the opposition.