Islamabad is once again about to become the venue of a PTI sit-in with a major difference from the one that lasted more than a hundred days. This particular agitation has been planned on radical lines as a ‘do or die’ endeavour. In addition to a central sit-in, PTI will lock down the Federal Capital by blocking all exit and entry points to the city. In a desperate bid to drum political morality into the Prime Minister and his team of ministers, the PTI Chairman has brushed aside the negative impact this move may have on those living and working in and around Islamabad.

By implication, a lock down is a blockade, where nothing is allowed to move in or out of ‘sanitised’ localities. When applied to Islamabad, it implies stoppage of food supply chains from outlying sources, inability of medical emergencies to reach hospitals from areas such as Hasanabdal, Kallar Kahar and Murree too, daily wage workers, who commute to the Federal Capital to earn a living. PTI has announced that it would not interfere with movement of ambulances, diplomats and judiciary, but more will have to be added to this list for pragmatic reasons.

Conventional wisdom dictates that if the lockdown is aimed at bringing government to a standstill then the currently intended ‘deployment’ announced by PTI is not likely to get desired results. If on the other hand this is a ‘decoy’ or perhaps the initial placing of a ‘noose’ designed to tighten towards the real objective on each passing day, then results may unfold differently.

There can be no second opinion that ‘dharnas’ and lockdowns are the constitutional right of any democratic dispensation in so much as they do not threaten life and property. It is being widely opined that PTI is desperately relying on the scenario, where government reaction to the protest culminates in violence forcing a third party to be dragged into the conflict. If this speculation has some basis, then it would be a grave error of judgment by Khan Sahib and his team. The institution being referred to is not likely to do anything that runs contrary to its constitutional role.

It may be logical to suggest that PTI alone does not have the type of street power to achieve what it has set out to do. It is for this reason that alliances are being forged with right and ultra-right wingers such as Sunni Tehreek and PAT, which are composed of radical workers capable of mayhem.

The developing situation has put the spotlight on the Apex Judiciary, (which in my reckoning is the de facto custodian of the Constitution). I am not in a position to say much in view of the fact that the Panama Leaks connection with the ruling family has been taken up by the court, except the all eyes are now on what happens on November 1.

The immutable rule of successful strategy formulation is that the planning cycle must come to a logical conclusion i.e. completion of mission. It therefore becomes essential to inject scenarios, where things may not go according to plan and require a different set of reactions. I am afraid, I have found PTI wanting in this respect, due perhaps to the rigid mind set of the party chairman, which permeates into the brainstorming process – something that needs to be reformed.

Regretfully enough, politics in Pakistan is sired and nurtured by corruption and voices raised against this phenomenon are driven by sheer frustration to extreme acts of agitation like the one planned for November 2. In many countries, where political morality is practiced, the tiniest of scandals directly or indirectly linked with individuals holding high public offices are enough to warrant resignations or voluntary accountability. It is our misfortune that this morality is nowhere to be seen in political leadership that has alternately ruled (read misruled) an equally corrupt and gullible nation.

All said and done, we wait with bated breath to see what the future has in store for us and our children – a Pakistan as Jinnah envisioned it or one where the rule of law and merit is but a pipe dream.