The jalsa in the heart of Punjab, Gujranwala, has caused tremors. Yet this is not exactly a success of the PDM alone. While the crowds were thick, and genuinely so, the help for the jalsa came in the form of the wave of inflation, and the rise in prices of everyday products. Participants in the jalsa came to support criticism of the government. The critics of the government, ie the Opposition, benefited from riding this wave.

Ex-Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif has been provided more security at his home in London. Yet perhaps he is the most comfortable out of all the PDM speakers. It was surprising that neither he nor Maryam Nawaz Sharif mentioned Mian Shehbaz Sharif, or Hamza Shahbaz, both of whom are in jail.

Maulana Fazal Ur Rehman as the President of the PDM was the last to address the gathering, in the late night, when the primetime news cycle had long since finished. It would not have been Maulana’s preferred time to make an address. His choice might have been a different one.

Maryam Nawaz Sharif and Bilawal Bhutto put forward a display of unity, bonds created out of the adverse situation that faces them. But also as shrewd politicians looking to capitalise on the dissatisfaction and stress found in the public at large, hapless before the wave of inflation and unemployment. Whether this partnership continues, time will tell.

There is no doubt that a huge crowd gathered at the stadium, and that the sentiment against the government was high. Government officials also would have observed this with concern. Yet there was also a rhetoric that was alarming in the gathering. And parts of the rhetoric were worrying for the stability of the environment, which was disturbing.

Speeches by political leaders are always moments of opportunity for themselves and their cause. The Opposition united against the accountability drive of the Government has the added advantage of surfing a wave of resentment among the voting public caused by high commodity prices, and the cost of maintaining living standards. The situation needs wise navigation. The government would be well advised to provide some relief to the public, or find that the Opposition is out to woo them once more.