The U-turn that Imran Khan made on Tuesday has given the Pakistani people a bout of vertigo. So today, the PTI celebrates, rather than complains. All its dreams have come true. The PTI Chief on November 1 congratulated the country over the Supreme Court decision on the Panama Leaks hearing so far, accepting full credit for the decision that was in the pipeline for well over a week.

The Supreme Court ordered both parties to submit their version of the Terms of Reference (ToRs) to assess the process of investigation, but this was always going to be the expected result of the preliminary hearing of the Panama Papers case. If this was what PTI wanted, why did it not stand down when the Supreme Court announced a date for the hearing – that too for a day before the planned lockdown? The Court had announced almost two weeks ago that it would be taking up the case, and everyone, PTI leaders included, have often commended the independence of the judiciary, meaning they trust its decisions.

The lockdown itself was always a questionable idea, one that had no link to the objectives it was trying to achieve. The demand was for a resignation from the Prime Minister, but the PTI seems to have conveniently forgotten that. According to Imran Khan, the Panama Leaks were proof, and not allegations against Nawaz Sharif and family.

Regardless of whether the PTI’s protest was justified or not, the ruling party’s unjustified tactics of arrests and clamp downs had a perceptible effect on Imran Khan’s ability to gather the numbers he was hoping for. The Supreme Court decision was nowhere near the revelation Imran and his party have taken it as. Their attempt to save face leaves them looking like pawns in a game.

Instead of a serious protest over principles, we have been treated to a comical political display, where PTI leaders seemed to enjoy the festivities around them, the party chief lead his ardent followers to 50 push-ups, and the media debated the contents of the bottle found from Ali Amin Gandapur’s car. Not only that, but while Mr Khan did not even have to move a muscle for this ‘all-important struggle’, PTI workers were sleeping in ditches, battling with police and were severely harassed – Andaleeb Abbas among them.

And now that PTI is patting itself on the back for something that was already going to take place, the realisation is sinking in for the people of Pakistan: What has the ruckus of the last one week actually achieved, if all action was to be differed to the Supreme Court? The Supreme Court was not swayed by street agitation, and nor is it supposed to be. If the trust of the PTI was always in the institution, why lockdown the capital of Pakistan?

So now, we are to be treated to a ‘Thanksgiving party’ in Islamabad. We may not be able to cheer and dance, as the U-turn at this final juncture has given us all whiplash.