There we have it! The Pakistan Awami Tehreek ‘dharna’ has packed up from Islamabad after more than two months, leaving behind a wrecked landscape and heaps of refuse that will take days to clean. If the PAT leadership is to be believed, then the exit of PAT activists from the Federal Capital is by no means an end to the good doctor’s revolution, which (according to PAT) is spreading along the length and breadth of the country. How the departure of Dr. Tahirul Qadri’s followers will affect the PTI sit in, is a question that was answered by Imran Khan during his daily address to the undiminished crowds that converge on D Chowk every evening. This particular ‘dharna’ is here to stay till PTI demands are met.

Many PTI supporters are looking at PAT’s ‘withdrawal’ with an “I told you so,” which from an egotistical point of view, vindicates the notion frequently expressed in my columns that the dynamics of both agitating parties were poles apart, and even if their goal was the same, Khan Sahib needed to be wary of his political ‘cousin’s’ inclination to do something unexpected, which directly or indirectly might not resonate with PTI interests.

The PMLN reaction to the winding up of Dr. Sahib’s ‘dharna’ was however appreciable, wherein ruling party activists and functionaries were directed not to issue any statements or undertake activity that could be construed as derisive, with regards to PAT activists. However, there are some political pundits who say that these instructions carry undertones of a ‘political victory.’ My take on the development is that it may be premature for PMLN to celebrate, for this party’s popularity appears to have been seriously dented and only time will tell if this was a victory or otherwise.

And now to Sindh, where no matter what the PPP may claim, its show designed to launch Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s political journey appears to have been a disappointment. In spite of millions spent on creating a magnificent ambience, it was the lack of the voluntary and spontaneous numbers expected to fill the arena that must have caused anxious ripples amongst party organizers. Media Sky Cams showed unoccupied spaces in the venue, which allowed free movement to participants. Much of the crowd appeared to have been ‘brought’ to the event in a replay of traditional political activity, contrary to what is visible in similar displays of strength by PTI and PAT.

Young Bhutto Zardari’s immaturity or lack of wisdom in the ‘launching speech’ was followed by a ‘blooper’ committed by none other than the leader of the Opposition Khurshid Shah with reference to a big and potent stakeholder in Sindhi urban politics. Both the speech and the statement elicited a fiery and violent reaction from the Mohajir Qaumi Movement, which resigned from the Sindh Government. Many political analysts are however taking the MQM action with a pinch of salt, as this party has on many previous occasions done the same, only to reverse its decision and return to the government. However this time, PPP’s Shah Sahib may have committed an irreversible political blunder, with profound long term implications.

And now a few lines on what can only be termed as a slur to democracy and Freedom of Speech. I am referring to the concerned Regulatory Authority’s decision to shut down the transmission of a private television channel, which played a key role in exposing corruption scandals within the government. A large number of my media colleagues and people on the streets believe that this punitive activity is in itself an indictment of government inefficacy to deal with corrupt individuals.

 The writer is a freelance columnist.