Politics in Pakistan is a joke. This has been said before. However, this repetition comes with the stench of regret and sadness. Pakistan’s politics is indeed a joke but not a very funny one.

The Kaptaan has struck again. The comedic conclusion of what was hyped to be one of the biggest of lockdown the country had ever seen was that there was no lockdown except that the PML-N locked the city down anyway. This time the Kaptaan was as futile as Tahir-ul-Qadri. Or indeed, even worse.

There was no other way to deal with the Panama leaks. The fact that Nawaz Sharif agreed to a commission, albeit to, as the Chief Justice himself put it, a toothless one; the PM seemingly recognised that there was no running away from the revelations. Of course the Kaptaan, with his massive following and endless charisma played a part in the pressure building process. In many ways, Kaptaan has become a voice of conscience for those who rule the country today. It would have served the PTI leader better had he stuck to that role.

But, no. The Imran Khan acted like an impatient child who wants his candy and would use ridiculous measures to get it. Many who have known Khan’s PTI since the last elections believe that Khan’s candy is the PM-ship. He wants to be the PM of the country and, indeed, nothing else.

So, he goes on misadventures after another, hoping to reach the prized chair. At times his measures are controlled and conducive to the democracy of the country. However, in most of the cases, he jumps off the road and drives right into pits that the country has been brought out of after uncountable and inconceivable measures of resilience and patience on the part of the populace at large. The obsession about the third power is another reckless motivation. With time it has become clear that the Kaptaan is not a mere puppet being played by the real hands in the gloves. In fact he could be a bookie hoping to predict what the military would do if he acted a certain way. In all his attempts, he has pushed the government to the limit and seemingly tried to make the environment conducive for a military take over. Strangely enough, the military just doesn’t intervene. Strangely enough, the Kaptaan still doesn’t stop trying.

His supporters now insist that what he did was not a u-turn. Take these same people back minutes before he announced his decision, and ask them if postponing the lockdown was an option, they’d have ridiculed you for your stupidity. Such power is truly stuff of the legends. Now, rationalising the betrayal, they insist that what he did was for the sake of the country. They further his messianic aura by insisting that this decision proves what he is made of: that is to say, he will let go of his ego for the greater good. Sadly, no one asks their leader why his ego was coming in the way when the same commission was being discussed many months ago. Such questions are useless, or so the supporters insist.

No one knows what the elections in the US will result in. Both the candidates are a disappointment; in many ways, each worse than the other. However, regardless of who wins, Pakistan can predict similar treatment from both the candidates. In a recent ad, Trump’s campaign praised Modi, accused Bill Clinton of giving Kashmir to Pakistan and in no hollow words, labelled Pakistan a terrorist state. Hillary hasn’t said this and yet, the policies, her attitude towards the diplomatic infrastructure and indeed, in her attempt to appear a stronger leader than Obama, she too will pull the leash on Pakistan. And the country needs to be prepared for it.

The fact is that Kaptaan’s misadventures can cause much harm to the country. In his first attempt, the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, cancelled his trip to Pakistan almost putting the fate of the CPEC in peril. The actual sit in caused billions of rupees worth of loss to Pakistanis. This time, just the announcement of his lockdown resulted in a loss of $3.5 billion loss. No one has been able to challenge the Kaptaan on why all this loss is justified in his pursuit to getting hold of the chair that is impossible to win. For now, and as the new administration in US looms in, the Kaptaan must put brakes on his misadventures and give the country breathing space to present a more stable image of itself to the world at large. The population at large will be thankful to his highness.