Considering the time and energy dedicated by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) on this task, it seemed as if the party had proverbially staked its political career on proving the Prime Minister was corrupt. And as any observant person would have concluded, that task was not going all too well. The Supreme Court had bemoaned the party’s lack of preparedness, and the media picked some of the choice reprimands the honourable justices used and did what it does best - picked each word apart and magnified the problem.

With intense pressure piling down on Imran Khan - who was incidentally present in the first row of the courtroom to hear these comments first-hand- something had to change, and that something seems to be PTI’s lead lawyer Hamid Khan. Citing the “battle with the media” the veteran lawyer excused himself from the case, although he might have been asked politely - but firmly - to step down.

What is coming out in the press shows an impatient court as well as lackluster and directionless advocacy. In all this it cannot be denied that the legal professional handling the case for the PTI lack professionalism, and scrutiny and accountability must be extended to them as well. However, as the court proceedings show, it is not just the weakness of the lawyer, but the case itself. The 680-page ‘dossier’ of evidence has been bandied about by the party before the Supreme Court even indicated it was going to take the case and has been used as a rhetoric device in several rallies. As such it is a document created by the whole party and the party should have taken ownership.

Changing lawyers is not a problem in itself - the government has done it too - but this unceremonious dismissal does very little to strengthen the confidence of the party cadres.

Changing lawyers is not the solution either; unless the new advocate can unearth hitherto unseen documents that prove the Prime Minister’s guilt, the PTI is facing an uphill battle.