The opposition’s latest showing has made more of an impact than previous occasions. This is down to the fact that the PPP government hosted each party’s biggest leader and managed to agree on important points moving forward. Parties discussed strategies, and among all proposals, the calls for handing in parliamentary resignations and starting protests and lockdowns throughout the country seemed like the most plausible steps.

The biggest question mark however, was on whether the parties would be able to find some middle ground which all major stakeholders would stand on. We have often seen grand statements being issued, without any tangible timelines or other specifics. This is why some that might choose the opposition’s camp have so far kept their cards close to their chest.

The Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) is one player which has decided to not make a move until it knows exactly what is coming next.

JI leaders have indicated that they are unhappy with the sitting government’s performance, but chose not to attend the multi-party conference over the weekend, because it was not clear which trajectory the opposition would take in the coming days and weeks. JI would be willing to participate in the movement against the government, if opposition parties agree to actually follow through on its proposals, such as handing in resignations and starting concrete protest movements.

This is a pragmatic decision considering all opposition parties currently part of this alliance are firmly aligned against ruling Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf (PTI). Even if statements have been made against specific policies or issues of governance, JI has not pitted itself against the Imran Khan-led government yet, at least not permanently.

Whether or not JI’s leaders are holding off the opposition’s advances in the hopes that there might be a counter-offer from the government is anyone’s guess. But what is clear is that the party is primarily waiting to see whether this conference will amount to something, or if all this grand-standing will fizzle out as we have seen in the past two years. The ball as ever, remains in the opposition’s court. Mounting a real challenge is the only way to get the public to respond to its narrative.