Senator Raza Rabbani, no doubt, is one of the finest icons of the sort of politics that represents some ideas and the will to stand by them, rain or shine.

At the outset of the Tuesday sitting of the Senate, which exclusively focused on the issue of Kashmir, this most experienced legislator from the PPP surely delivered a thought-provoking and comprehensive speech.

Instead of wasting time in elaborating the historic context, he preferred to project the recent developments in Indian Occupied Kashmir as continuation of the majoritarian obsessions that Narendra Modi’s government continues to pursue, almost insanely.

He also put extremely legitimate questions over the manner Imran Government had, so far, responded to the revoking of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. Passionately suggesting points that might help to effectively counter the Indian moves, Rabbani seemed oblivious to the fact that hardly a person from within the Imran Government really felt the need of seeking ideas from the opposition, when it comes to the question of how to deal with the issue of Kashmir.

Speaking from the treasury benches, Senator Wasim Shezad, proved my point. He kept insisting that due to diligent pursuance by the Imran Government, the Security Council and Human Rights Commission of the United Nations had woken up on Kashmir. The US Senate and the House of Representatives were equally upset about the recent happenings there. The European Union also heard our concerns, far more seriously. “What else the opposition wants us to do?” was the question, he implicitly put with obvious audacity.

The highly skilled political worker in Raza Rabbani should have instinctively discovered that the Senate was discussing the issue of Kashmir, too late in the day. The Modi government had ruthlessly moved on August 5, 2019 and since then 8 million Kashmiris continue to gasp in the largest prison of the world.

Pakistan certainly failed to play an active role to furnish alleviating support to them. Disregarding Kashmir, of late, we were rather gloating over the opening of a visa-free corridor for India-based Sikhs.

“News Cycle” is the thing that no serious politician can afford to ignore in our age of “information overload.” Wednesday, only a handful of reporters were present in the Senate gallery to attentively listen to our worthy senators’ ideas on Kashmir.

Most reporters rather preferred to stay put in the press lounge. All eyes there were glued to the screens, showing updates by 24/7 channels. Journalists were hooked to get the latest on Nawaz Sharif and Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s dharna. Kashmir sounded like a forgotten story.

Through anxiously awaited press talk of the law minister, Farogh Nasim, the Imran Government reiterated its desire to act magnanimous to Nawaz Sharif. For letting him go abroad for the diagnosis and treatment of multiple causes of his fast deteriorating health, however, the government remained stuck to the demand of getting an “indemnity bond.”

To ensure that the “sentenced prisoner,” i.e. Nawaz Sharif, would return to Pakistan, “within a month,” it demands the former prime minister or his family to pledge cash or property worth up to the value of around 5 billion Pak Rupees.

Dr Babar Awan, a legal eagle, often consulted by the Prime Minister to fathom delicate legal issues, had separately told media that the residential complex of the Sharif Family in Lahore, Jatti Umra, perhaps matched the desire amount. The Sharifs should seriously consider pledging the said complex to ensure speedy flight of Nawaz Sharif to London.

The Sharifs are yet not willing to pledge a thing. They continue to promote the allegation that the government is behaving like a ruthless extortionist. No “decent or civilized” government adopts such an approach to its “political opponents.”

The hawkish ministers are also not willing to concede an inch. They keep drumming “the narrative” that propped Imran Khan to the Prime Minister’s Office after 22 years of relentless struggle.

The said narrative promised to ensure “equality of law” and ruthless accountability of the “looters and plunderers, faking as politicians.” By letting Nawaz Sharif go, they insist, Imran Khan would appear as if betraying his base like the usual politicians of the world.

The corruption-hating base of the PTI passionately supports their position. The resistance, PTI government had been showing in the case of Nawaz Sharif rather refurbished this base with more vigor, energy and pride.

The PML-N looks miserably failing to articulate and promote the counter-narrative. Its top leaders are missing from the media scene and the so-called “vote bank” of Nawaz Sharif remained baffled and helplessly clueless.

In the given context, the passionate admirers of Imran Khan are feeling doubly delighted over the manner Maulana Fazlur Rehman decided to fold its two-week dharna in Islamabad Wednesday evening, “without getting even an assuaging word from the government.”

The ardent supporters of Maulana Fazlur Rehman keep claiming that the story is yet not over for them. They are rather leaving Islamabad to execute the Plan-B. Apparently, the said plan intends to block certain highways that ensure all weather and around the clock connectivity to whole of Pakistan.

Their Plan-B compels one to recall 1977. In that year, around three-month long agitation against the government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto eventually led to “wheel jam” in all the major cities of Pakistan.

But the execution of “Operation Wheel Jam” could then be delivered effectively, primarily for the fact that nine parties, representing all possible shades of the political spectrum, got united in Pakistan National Alliance (PNA) against the government.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman and his JUI appear too alone while going for their Wheel Jam this time around. Even the mainstream opposition parties, like the PML-N and the PPP, had clearly abandoned them. The PML-N dreaded the X-factors, while the “liberal” PPP expressed serious reservation regarding the “religious card,” that Maulana sounded activating as if in sheer desperation.

If you go by the appearances only, the state of Pakistan is certainly equipped with appropriate coercive power and tools to firmly deal with the JUI-connected “rabble rousers,” scattered all across the country.

During the formative days of the Imran government in late 2018, Tehrik-e-Labbaik of Khadim Hussien Rizvi had also been handled, pretty impressively, when it tried to activate the streets.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman always savored the reputation of a consummate politician, who knew “the limits,” by friends and foes. One is just not able to fathom as to what really motivated him to first go for a dharna. No doubt, it gathered an impressive and remarkably disciplined crowd.

Apparently, the two-week dharna by this crowd gave him nothing in concrete political terms. “Plan-B” does not furnish the “face savor,” for sure. It rather looks suicidal in the given context. It may rather lead to absolute depletion of the political capital that the Maulana had been accumulating through his admirable “sagacity” since entering politics in the early 1980s.