He came, he saw, he tried his best and then he left. Now, he is back again. PAT chief Tahir-ul-Qadri returned to Pakistan on Thursday and appears resolved to stay until he has to leave yet again. He is a changed man. Before, he was completely averse to the idea of participating in politics within the current system. It is a rigged game that will never allow the common man to come forward and challenge the elite, he used to claim. Having failed to rig the game in his favour, he ended the two month long sit-in in Islamabad, and now plans to strengthen his political party to challenge his rivals in the political scene. Before, he wanted blood, bodies and a revolution. Now, he wants notes, votes and support. For a political outsider playing with the lives of people under the pretext of revolution to come into the political fold and conduct political activities as allowed by the constitution is nonetheless a welcome development. Of course, there will still be plenty of lying and manipulation, but that is common for all political parties, mainstream or not.

The reason Tahir-ul-Qadri still has political capital to spend is because the Model Town case remains unsolved. Victims of police brutality, who Qadri represents, have yet to see the accused put behind bars. The Punjab government, the accused in this case, is still sitting on the report submitted by the one-member judicial commission. Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had promised that he would resign if the commission found his government or him responsible in any way. Unsurprisingly, he went back on his word. The Punjab government has the audacity to claim that the report isn’t conclusive when it is itself a party to the affair. Conclusive or not, accurate or not, CM Shahbaz Sharif has no authority to keep the report concealed from the media and the people at large. He cannot play judge in a case he is accused in. Such conduct reeks of malice and adds credibility to Qadri’s claims of foul play.

Qadri has also rejected the JIT formed by the Punjab government. Although the JIT is being headed by CCPO Quetta and includes officials from the ISI, IB and CIA, the PAT chief has refused to appear before it and demanded that the ISI and Military Intelligence officials included and officials from Punjab Police be kept out of the loop. It appears that this process will not yield satisfactory results either. Is there any other mechanism which can be adapted to proceed on the matter, that would be free of the Punjab government’s influence and satisfy the aggrieved parties? Is there any provision which would allow the judiciary to play a more proactive role in this scenario? These questions need to be answered sooner than later for the sake of accountability, and coherency, if nothing else.