A huge crowd eager to participate in the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) rally and listen to the voice of change from its leader Imran Khan gathered on the grounds of Minar-i-Pakistan on Sunday. Though the PTI sources claimed the number to be between 400,000 and 500,000 people, even conservative estimates, including foreign media, put it well over 100,000. By any standards, it was the largest assemblage of people a political leader of the country had been able to gather together in nearly two decades. Simultaneously, from another end of the country Karachi, the MQM had taken out a rally in support of President Zardari. Before one could comment whether it had any other purpose than saving Mr Zardari, it would be interesting to recall that the MQM had arranged a similar rally in support of his predecessor, President Musharraf. Mr Khan, however, challenged rulers to declare their assets within a few months, or face a civil disobedience movement that he would lead. He repeatedly targeted PML-N leader Mian Nawaz Sharif for failing to deliver, though President Zardari did not escape his biting criticism either. The audience unhesitatingly endorsed the view that these two leaders were unable to end corruption and collect taxes. Mr Khan also touched on almost every issue that had adversely affected the life of, especially, the ordinary man in the country: the agonising loadshedding; the endemic corruption in our political and bureaucratic culture; the massive leakage of funds through tax evasion; and the dreadful curse of militancy. Imran Khan, like many others outside his party and within, might not have expected such a surprisingly big response to his call from different sections of society; though the youth, no doubt, constituted the bulk of the surging wave of the gathering, others, equally fed up with the present scheme of things, were not in short supply. Once staunch PPP and PMLN supporters were also in attendance. Nevertheless, it would be advisable for him to move with caution rather than attract an unconstitutional change. The days ahead, as Imran Khan sets up a cell, as he promised, to collect data about the leaders assets, both within the country and abroad, and moves forward to prosecute them, as he also promised, would determine whether the crowds enthusiasm of Sunday was a passing passion or a harbinger of the much-needed change to come. However, the threat of civil disobedience movement carries serious foreboding and one hopes and expects Imran Khan to keep in mind how democracy failed to take root in Pakistan because sharp cleavages between powerful political forces provided an excuse to Bonapartist generals to take the reins of power. The country cannot bear another such experience. In the end, while Imran Khan's ambition to strip bare politician's finances is commendable, we look forward to him leading by example and declaring his own assets first and foremost.