It is interesting that Imran Khan is trying to bring down the government, while Nawaz Sharif is trying to prevent the no-confidence vote in KPK. The PMLN is only saving itself and its government in the center by not stirring the hornets' nest. If the KPK government dissolves, PTI will quit the National Assembly and elections will be a certainty. Imran Khan has to be very careful to dispel the perception that he is trying to destabilize the country while the other is trying to keep it stable. In his own house, things are breaking apart as the Jamat-i-Islami sees no immediate gains in being a coalition partner. Imran Khan is in deep waters and nobody wants to be associated with him right now. They might be back when he is on a stronger wicket, maybe once the elections are announced. JI chief Siraj ul Haq recently said that the PTI was the same as the PMLN; both are insincere to the people. There were remarks that hurt Imran deeply. But Khan has to realize that there is only so much mileage he can get from his rhetoric of being “clean”. It is not he alone that has to run a government or a country. He is not and will not be a benevolent monarch.

The JI has clout, whether anyone likes how they are ruling in KPK or not. They have been diplomatic where national politics is concerned and forceful when it’s a matter of KPK. And while Haq spoke out publicly against the PTI, his party has taken the words back; politics as usual. PTI would be wise to take signal from this and leave the “Go Nawaz go” chanting, form a plan B to keep their place at least in KPK.

The other interesting development that we might see is PMLN slowly taking back Punjab. Imran has been facing a lot of criticism, and now from a coalition partner too. While MQM and PPP squabble over Sindh, and JI and PTI over KPK, Punjab might still be firmly in the hands of the Sharifs. Time heals all wounds and political memory is short term. PTI needs to have something new up its sleeve to mess with the Sharifs, because it is fast losing ground. JI has been in regular contact with Maulana Fazalur Rehman, who is a known adversary of the PTI. The Maulana has been publicly trying to move a no-confidence vote against the KP government until the Prime Minister talked him out of it. At least they are talking and not resorting to intimidation and violence. Small mercies.