By staging almost a month – long Dharna on the D Chowk, Imran has demonstrated leadership, guts and stamina.

It has essentially been a one-man show. Evening after evening, the crowd below looked up to the charismatic Kaptaan standing atop a large container and cheered to whatever was dished out. Most of it being self-praise, demonisation of the Sharif brothers and some other politicians, laced with new “Inkishafs” (revelations) climaxing with the running motif: Nawaz Sharif must resign and Imran Khan shall stay on the container for months till he achieves his goal. Imran, we are told never gives up, always wins, never accepts defeat. This tall claim he seeks to substantiate by recalling his World Cup victory and successfully establishing the cancer hospital in Lahore. The Kaptaan gets so worked up and carried away by his self-driven rhetoric that he uses language unbecoming of a responsible leader. Just last Tuesday in his press conference, the opposition leader, Khursheed Shah made a pointed reference to such objectionable and unwholesome articulation by Imran.

One wishes Imran would realize his acts of omission and commission and take to a more balanced assessment of his adversary’s faults and misdoings and recognized at the same time, his own party’s weaknesses and shortcomings. He repeatedly refers to laudable initiatives take by PTI government in KPK but seldom mentions its faults and deficiencies. There has been no recalling of the failure of the administration in regard to the DIK Jail break. Again the provincial government’s unsatisfactory handling of the IDPs leaves much to be desired. Interesting it is to find that Imran repeatedly calls the National Assembly a fake house but has little to say about the character of the KPK Provincial Assembly. He asks his party MNAs to tender resignations while he lets the PTI led Assembly in KPK continue. Elections in KPK werelegitimate, while polling in the rest of the country was manipulated and badly rigged? One the one hand, his team is holding talks with the government in Islamabad and on the other he keeps denouncing the incumbent government and repeatedly asserting that the prime minister must tender his resignation.

Inadvertently Imran has pushed almost all the political parties to come together and stand fast with the prime minister. Never have the politicians of diverse vintages stood so firmly with an elected chief executive in Pakistan. In the recent joint session of the National Assembly and the Senate, leader after leader waxed eloquence to defend the constitution, the parliament and the prime minister.

Isn’t it impolitic on Imran’s part to keep pressing for the PM’s resignation and prolonging the sit–in night after night, when most of his demands have been conceded and the one unmet, too would materialize if the Supreme Court Commission comes to the conclusion that there was widespread and massive rigging during the 2013 elections. In other words if his accusations are found validated, a fresh election would he held as early as feasible.

A number of important questions have surfaced. Dots are being connected. References are made to Imran’s meeting with Qadri in London and the possible behind-the-scene role played by a retired senior military officer. Is it fair to assume that all that JavedHashmi has spilled out is a figment of his imagination? Has he cooked up all the details relating to Imran’s alleged contacts and doings? The gleeful rush of Imran and Qadri to respond to the call from the army chief too tells a tale. Imran read between the lines and found messages contained in the statements issued by the ISPR advising the government not to use force and resolve the issues quickly through a “meaningful” dialogue, with hardly any reference to the Dharnas in the

READ MORE: Clear negligence

Red Zone.

Relevant, here, are the recent statements made by MianRazaRabbani before the Supreme Court. Said RazaRabbani: “The impasse has led to apprehensions within the parliament and the parties represented there that an extra-constitutional step may be on the cards”. According to a newspaper report, Mr.Rabbani was appearing as a counsel before a five-Judges Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice NisarulMulk that had taken up 11 identical petitions challenging possible unconstitutional steps and the ongoing twin sit-ins on the Constitution Avenue. Mr.Rabbani listed three questions which, to his reckoning, needed to be answered definitively: Firstly, “whether any political party or any other group could seek constitutional office bearers to disengage from office under threat of violence or use of force in violation of the Constitution?” Secondly, “Whether any political leader can legitimately involve the Pakistan Army in his design to achieve his unconstitutional objectives by attempting to reassure his followers that army by a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ will determine the future course of his action?” Thirdly, “Whether a political leader can misrepresent the support of Pakistan Army to their cause in public or private communications, thereby compromising the image of a national institution?”

The court has asked the Tehreek-i-Insaaf and Pakistan AwaniTehreek counsels to submit concise statements on these questions within three days.

Imran appears determined to persist in his demand for PM’s resignation. He is obsessed with the idea. He has been able to persuade PTI’s core committee to continue Dharna till this goal is achieved.

There is need for Imran to review his stand. His protests have already yielded a lot of results. He has successfully challenged the status quo and severely shaken the incumbent government. Not only is the electoral system being reviewed by a parliamentary committee consisting of all major parties, including PTI, a high-level commission consisting of Supreme Court judges has been agreed to be constituted as also guarantees against interference by government in its working instituted. Other demands relating to administrative adjustments have been accepted. If and when PTI’s accusation and charges on the basis of investigations undertaken under the Supreme Court commission auspices, come to be validated, the assemblies will stand dissolved and new elections held. What more does Imran want and hope for? He has to exercise restraint and moderate his desire quickly to walk into the prime ministers house.

Does he grasp that he has failed to realize a number of goals and targets he fixed for his party? It will be a million-march, he had claimed. Did even one hundred thousand come? One hundred thousand motorcyclists PTIjiyalaswould have been the vanguard of the long marches. How many actually arrived? He had committed himself in writing (text messaged) that PTI crowdswould not trespass into Red Zone. He broke his pledge and went ahead. He had announced that he would lead the procession. He did not keep his word. He remained confined to the container while the marches went way ahead.

As a well-wisher, I say: Imran Khan, call it a day. You have already secured a lot. It is indeed a tremendous achievement. Prudence calls for a halt. Wait for the fresh elections. Spend time in KPK and deliver promises. Go to the flooded areas and mobilize relief for the stranded Pakistanis.

Imran on Thursday night said “What will I do when there are no Dharna meetings?” This is an addiction, Kaptaan. Get rid of it.

n    The writer is an ex-federal secretary and ambassador, and a freelance political and international relations analyst.