Many had anticipated that with the advent of Imran Khan’s politics the general political horizon would change in its form and spirit. Some had even gone further so as to suggest a new socio-political set up comparable to contemporary western democracies.

The reality however suggests a different picture altogether. Not only has the new system of hopefuls failed to get deeply entrenched into the the political system, the old guard of the eighties and nineties reigns supreme in its original form and content. We rapidly see the demise of dharna politics along with the highly eventful Panama leaks saga unable to shake the government. So why is it that Pakistan has not been able to evolve into the educated definition of political change that the young generation was eyeing into absorbing.

Many a failing can be attributed to Imran Khan’s own ways of doing politics. He rose on the platform of anti-corruption to cleanse politics of mafias, patwaris and corrupt elements. But it has been proved repeatedly that his words stand taller than his actions. He continuously surrounds himself with sycophants, the likes of which do not match his ideological beliefs. In fact the very foundations of his own party manifestos are no where to be seen and most of his old allies who formed the PTI have left him under the garbe of his ideological escapism. In essence, his reformative politics have not been absorbed by the system fundamentals.

Nawaz Sharifs own sense of political acumen (the family’s hold on politics now surpasses 25 years) has helped him retain his hold on power. Many would disagree, but if one doesn’t sway much into media trials one can say with utmost confidence that Sharif is now firmly afoot with the establishment. The establishment needs someone who they see themselves comfortable with and who is not that radicalised in his approach of taking the establishment head on. Imran Khan has failed to create this feeling of accomodation with the establishment through his rhetoric and actions.

Secondly, Pakistan’s economy is beginning to look much better now. It’s over dependence on IMF economic assistance programme is coming to a favourable conclusion and this has far reaching economic and political implications vis a vis American relations.

The menace of terrorism has subsided significantly in the beginning of 2016 and going forward there are reports that it would be further reduced with better intelligence. Efforts are underway to stabilise the western and eastern borders.

All these concerted efforts towards political stability and economic change are vital for Pakistan to step forward towards becoming an economic force and key ingredients of that is the CPEC programme and political stability.

A lot will now depend upon how Nawaz Sharif manages the opposition and strategises the policy of bringing the nation together amidst the cloud of challenges. Talk, talk and more talk is the only way of good relations and it is unlikely that he would loose sight of this going forward to 2018.