Since the day the present government came into power, there has hardly been an occasion on which Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif were not found commenting upon each other. It’s hard to decide who is more vociferous, but what’s common in them is that they both ignore the serious issues of the public who voted them into power.

Let’s start with Imran Khan. He is seen as a huge disappointment by many. He had the ‘crème’ of the youth with him in the initial stages but due to his irrational and stubborn approach to things he lost a large following. Imran’s statements about the ‘bhoole bhatke log’ (‘people who’ve gone astray’) in reference to terrorists put the ‘seal’ of extremism on him. 16 December 2014 left him no option but to side with NAP. It was horrifying that even after that incident, he was unable to condemn the terrorists strongly. Apart from this, he had been missing on various occasions on which serious issues in KPK and within the party had surfaced. PTI’s Government in KPK was, and is, the perfect chance for Imran Khan to prove his promises instead of focusing on other issues. And last, but not the least, he is suffering from Nawazophobia.

Now on to Nawaz Sharif.The ‘third time prime minister’ has proven that he can trot around the globe, suffer from Imranophobia, set the state machinery loose on the public, give false hopes to the masses for providing them with sufficient electricity, gas, and water and goof around with those ‘who should not be named’ but he misses the sittings of Parliament during all serious national and international issues. The success of NAP and terrorism have been mere slogans, while extremists roam about freely in various areas of Pakistan, especially his stronghold, Punjab. On one side, the public is told that the state does not have money, but whenever he has a public meeting against Imran Khan, he keeps doling out money to establish projects in some areas. The lesser said about him, the better.

Imran Khan’s call for November 2 has proven to be getting on the government’s nerve – nothing surprising. Imran Khan, like always, gave an emotional statement about ‘locking down’ the capital – and then retracted it – and the government, as usual, reacted without rational thinking. There is no doubt that the Government is supreme and they have to maintain law and order in the country. But along with that they have the obligation of allowing the opposition to protest under the constitution. The call for ‘lockdown’ threatened the government so much that they have not only ‘locked down’ the capital, themselves, but also the highways and KPK, even before PTI could do it.

The government felt threatened by a democratic force but it allowed a ‘banned’ organization to hold a ‘meeting’ in the capital. People think that the attack on PTI that day was aimed at diverting attention from their ‘friends’. This was least needed and instead of stopping PTI, they built the momentum themselves. PTI was given coverage which was least needed before November 2.

According to Chaudhry Nisar, there were intelligence reports that Imran Khan and PTI would be attacking the parliament. Even if that’s true, the parliament or other state buildings should have been protected by the security and the government should have waited for more substantial evidence, rather than retaliating in such a brutal manner. This illegal show of power by the state only reminded the public of the Model Town, Lahore episode.

Despite being irrational, Imran Khan and PTI were exercising their constitutional right. The government, on the other hand, needs to answer a few questions. There is no way for people to remain calm when they are pulled out of houses just because they belong to a political party. Even actors and singers are not being spared. People are facing difficulty in moving about because the roads are blocked by containers. An officer of Pakistan Army lost his life due to these blockages, and a child died by inhaling tear gas that had entered the house. Who will be held responsible for these loses? A government that can’t provide protection to its citizens, terrorists playing havoc every now and then, citizens still unable to find decent jobs, a gross shortage of electricity, water and gas in the country, and, above all, the government’s absence in the event of a serious issue – yet they unleash the police force on protestors. In such conditions, what do you expect the people to do?

It is hard to tell who is better than the other. It looks more like a clash of mad elephants, who are only interested in satisfying their egos and getting even, not in the grass (public) that will get trampled upon in the end.