Barely a year ago Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf and its minions descended on Islamabad to protest electoral fraud and demand change. Failing to depose the government the protestors settled for a robust electoral reform policy and a judicial commission to decide whether fraud happened or not. At the time even Imran Khan admitted that the reform was more important that the JC inquiry; after all a transparent election in the future is more important than digging up problems of the past. It’s 2016 and the reform has quietly died an inconsequential death; the parliamentary committee on electoral reform is silent, reports by think tanks are forgotten and restructuring of the Election Commission of Pakistan is far from the national narrative. What happened to all that purpose and optimism? Was all that fire and smoke for nothing?

It was up to the EU to remind the government of its solemn promises to make changes. On Wednesday a member of the European parliament and head of the European Union’s electoral follow-up mission in Pakistan, Michael Gahler warned that delay in electoral reforms would undermine the next general elections. That much should have been obvious to the government. The JC did say that it did not find evidence of a conspiracy to defraud, but it did find widespread inconsistencies and inefficiencies, all of which still exist in the system.

While the government is obviously shirking its duties, it was expected to do so. It was the responsibility of the PTI – who had made electoral reform the purpose of it being – to hound the government until it achieved change. Yet after the initial barrage at ECP, Imran Khan has forgotten his crusade. If we berate the government for being irresponsible then the opposition must be berated for being irresponsible too. Letting electoral reform become a stale issue is the fault of the opposition. It has lost the right to complain about it in the next general election.