In a huge embarrassment for Imran Khan, parents on Wednesday stopped him from entering the Army School in Peshawar where 132 children were killed in a terror strike. Parents blocked Imran Khan’s entry in the school and shouted slogans of “Go Imran Go!” until he was able to enter the school from a side entrance. While the army has been extremely visible in its efforts to make the people of Peshawar feel secure, the PTI, the party with the ruling mandate in the province, has not. On the contrary, the media blaring out the news of Imran’s nuptials consistently, has only made those with tragic lives feel more isolated than ever. Needless to say, the timing was utterly distasteful.

The parents who protested against Khan seemed to be of the view that his visit was for the purpose of political show rather than an act of real sympathy. This should be very worrying for the PTI, as this is their home turf. Imran was criticized for not doing anything despite being elected a member of the national assembly from the province. He faced the same criticisms from his constituency on Wednesday that he has been unloading on his opponents all along. While the Sharifs and Zardaris may have been up to much worse, Imran’s slogan is that he will do better for his people. Arriving a month late in a motorcade with protocol is not doing “better.”

If one looks at it from the perspective of the bereaved, the fact that the Federal Interior Ministry sent a warning about a possible attack at a site with children, to the provincial government, makes it seem that the CM of KPK was too busy with the dharna in Islamabad to take any real action. This recent debacle further makes Imran Khan and his cronies come off as rather self-involved at a time of immense national sensitivity, and his announcement of a reprisal of his dharnas may backfire as well. He needs a plan D (if we have our alphabet correct).

Meanwhile, after the protest, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mushtaq Ghani said that mischief was being promoted by political opponents. It was all a set up, apparently. How typical of the PTI.