Delayed, disorganized and disrupted, the Azadi March has finally arrived in Islamabad. It may not be vast swathes of protestors as was promised, but the numbers that have shown up are not insignificant either. Furthermore, seeing that the main opposition parties – the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) – have maintained a measured distance so far, the numbers may yet swell if they eventually decide to throw their full weight behind Maulana Fazlur Rehman. Now the wait begins, who will blink first?

The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) did betray some nervousness, especially when it sought to silence the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leaders through other means, but it has mercifully kept a level head and let the protestors exercise their democratic right to protest unhindered. There have been no clashes or threats of violence so far, and it is encouraging to see both the protestors and the government working together to ensure that such events do not take place.

However, we cannot expect that there will not be any friction at all. All the major opposition leaders are represented on the sit-in stage, and surrounded by their supporters and other like-minded politicians they may be emboldened to be more vocal against the government than they have been before.

This coupled with the demand that the Prime Minister resign in two days will test the patience of the government. Already allegations of “reneging on the agreement” between the two sides have begun floating around; with the implication being that if one side doesn’t hold to their promises, the other side is not bound to abide by it either.

This is a tricky situation for the government. It seems in no mood to accede to the demands – nor should it – but that leaves us with the question: what will happen once the two day ultimatum expires?