With each passing day, PAT Chief Tahir-ul-Qadri is beginning to sound less like the peaceful reformer he claims to be and more like the saboteur that he really is. His ‘Green revolution’, which has as much to do with the preservation of the ecosystem as it does with the welfare of the masses, has been struggling to gain momentum despite all the help. Mr Qadri almost changed Pakistan forever back in January 2013, but the nation was luckily denied its glorious future owing to its own lack of interest and faith in the doctor and his diagnosis. After publicly embracing the villains he had promised to overcome, Mr Qadri packed his revolution in the bag and returned to his boring second home, Canada. His second attempt isn’t proving all that successful either.

Firstly, he is flanked by personalities who are viewed as anything but people-loving democrats. His alliance with the Chaudharies of Gujarat has confirmed certain suspicions and further discredited his agenda. Secondly, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan is trying to bring a revolution of his own and there is only so much change that the Pakistani public can digest. Thirdly, the PML-N doesn’t appear willing to let Mr Qadri do as he pleases. Most recently, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) sent him an income tax notice of 350 million rupees. There are reports of crackdown on PAT workers by Punjab Police while roads leading to Minhaj Secretariat in Model Town have been blocked with containers to prevent large-scale movement. He has also been booked in a case for incitement to violence, and rightly so, as he clearly ordered his workers to crackdown on Police in response to any action. He advised them to form groups, and break into houses of Policemen and take over Police stations. “Eye for an eye”, the preacher had screamed.

The government must view Imran Khan and Mr Qadri differently and thus employ strategies accordingly. While they both may share their goal of bringing down the government, the two aren’t exactly the same. Imran is a political insider, the leader of country’s second most popular mainstream political party and seeks re-election. He may end up derailing it, but he and his party still stand for democracy. Mr Qadri, on the other hand, is not at all interested in elections because, well, there is no way he will ever win one. He stands in opposition to the entire system, which however flawed it may be, cannot be done away with to be replaced with God knows what. He has no credibility, no stake and no road map. There is no reason the government should allow a dubious political non-entity to wreak havoc or give him ammunition to fire at will, like the Model Town incident. Remain patient, rely on the law to contain and pressurise Qadri, but don’t attempt to crush with force. Exhaust, isolate, delay, but don’t make a hero out of him. No solution is perfect as the situation is imperfect.