In an interview to BBC Urdu at the first anniversary of the sit-ins, Federal Minister for Climate Change Mushahid Ullah Khan said things he probably wishes he could take back. He said a conspiracy was foiled after a civilian intelligence agency, Intelligence Bureau (IB), allegedly intercepted a call of then ISI Chief Lieutenant General Zaheer ul Islam who was giving instructions to create chaos during the sit-ins and take control of the PM House.

The thought, that the hand of the military was behind last year’s PTI-PAT festival, has been in everybody’s minds. But just because he said what everyone was thinking, doesn’t mean he should have said it. The suspicion has always been there, especially when Imran Khan himself spoke of the “umpire’s finger”. The suspicion has been quietly echoing in opinion pieces and Islamabad drawing rooms for over a year. The capital was taken over, parliament was attacked, the economy stalled and the whole country was at a stand still for months. The dharnas were no small disruption, and if, the Army has anything to do with orchestrating or causing the rumpus, the revelations by the senator deserve inquiring into. Just a denial by the Army or the PML-N is not enough this time. The accusation against the former ISI Chief is a big one, and includes conspiracy to topple the military leadership as well. Heads should roll on either side.

The whole nation - politicians, judiciary and common folk included – in such times of confrontation can only back away from the Generals, bowing and curtsying, hoping to be pardoned for sounding unpatriotic. The institution is above reproach and criticism. That is what we have been taught, and what people like Mushahid Ullah continue to learn. The PML-N has disowned the words of their senator, and the existence of any tape with the recorded call. And even if they had not, proving that the army to be the puppet master, would require a whole lot more than this, and then some. If this was ever a route, that the PML-N wanted to take, it should have been better thought out. Remember that this is not the first time that this accusation has been levelled at the army. Defence Minister Khawaja Asif caused a small storm shortly after the Judicial Commissions report came out, when he named General Zaheer ul Islam and others of having been behind the sit-ins.

If the senator was lying, did he not know what was at stake, including his own resignation? If he was telling the truth, then a lot of people are complicit in encouraging the military to run the show without any accountability or control.