Only a few days back, both Imran Khan and Tahir-ul-Qadri had announced that they would not negotiate with any committee sent by the government unless their demands were not accepted. Now, a committee comprising of members from different parties is holding meetings with both PTI and PAT. This change of stance suggests that the dynamic duo has come off the high horse following Javed Hashmi’s revelations and the Joint Parliament Session. PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s appearance and speech in the Parliament, where he expressed his utmost respect for the House, which his party’s Chairman calls fake, is also indicative of the change in weather. Add to it the fact that the PTI MNAs have still not resigned from their seats. Before their supporters, they may act just as stubborn and uncompromising but reopening of negotiations suggests otherwise. They have already compromised by agreeing to sit on the table, the possibility of which, they had ruled out confidently, completely and publicly.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has gained strength owing to the support from almost all political parties in the Parliament. As birds continue to flock around his nest, Imran finds himself increasingly isolated and at odds with Islamabad’s weather. It has been pouring rain instead of supporters as he had hoped, and with the rest of the Parliament united in his opposition, he is forced to consider different options. His alliance with Qadri has only served to solidify suspicions concerning the military’s involvement in their movement. The weather is Islamabad isn’t making things an easier either. It has been raining profusely adding to the difficulties faced by the people in the sit-ins.

In any case, the government still has its work cut out before it. Both Imran and Qadri have established clearly that they are unreasonable players. The government cannot attribute too much importance to their instinct of self-preservation, especially when dealing with Imran, whose behaviour has been quite worrisome throughout this self-imposed ordeal. Reports coming in at this moment claim that no noteworthy progress has been made during the first phase of talks. Whether it is Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s resignation that is still the bone of contention is not yet known. It is understandable why any agreement short of PM’s resignation would seem like defeat for PTI and PAT, but that is their own doing. The government, however, would do well to offer everything that is reasonable and helps solve this crisis.