No one from within PTI seems to be clear on what is happening with the upcoming Raiwind March. Even party chief Imran Khan seems to be unsure of the schedule, and apart from the decision to go to Raiwind, nothing else is decided as of yet.

The lack of clarity on whether PTI will attempt to besiege the Premier’s residence has also led opposition parties such as PPP and PML-Q to not announce support for PTI’s plans. But perhaps the biggest blow to PTI’s strategy for Lahore has been Tahir-ul-Qadri’s announcement to not take part in the march, simply because of the risk of it spilling over towards the Sharif residence. While Imran Khan has stated that the idea to take a trip to Jati Umrah (PM Nawaz Sharif’s residence) has been scrapped, no one is altogether convinced that PTI will refrain from moving towards the PM’s residence when the protest is actually underway.

Remember, this is the party that has spent the past few months using every available opportunity to target the Prime Minister and his family. It would not be altogether surprising if some supporters take matters into their hands and head towards Nawaz Sharif’s home anyway. This is also the party that was unable to reign in its supporters when the parliament was attacked in 2014, as part of the Azadi March.

With the elections of 2018 drawing ever closer, the fact that Imran Khan is organising a protest to gain more popularity is becoming more and more see-through. This virtually-desperate bid for a greater support base in Punjab is going to seem less palatable as time passes, more specifically if this march does not produce any results.

As far as PTI itself is concerned, it is still unclear how it hopes to achieve its target of an increased support base in Punjab – enough to mount a challenge against PML-N in the next elections – through this march. With no help coming in from opposition parties or Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), the protest in Raiwind might not be as effective without the numbers that would have been made up through other parties. On its own, PTI might not be as threatening to PML-N as it wants to be. In any case, 2014’s march showed that PAT’s supporters were more dedicated than those of PTI, and many of the protesters of Imran Khan’s party lost interest as the Azadi March lengthened. Will things be any different this time? A lot has been built up about this march, and about the party being the only means for the people to fight corruption. If it fails again, it might just lose some key support, instead of gaining it as planned.