While the government is confident that its regime is safe, no one can predict what will happen when a charged and agitated crowd is mobbed in front of the parliament – least of all the government. Here we are again.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) is gathering more and more allies around itself to march on Islamabad and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is starting to feel the pressure. This doesn’t just feel like the infamous ‘dharna’, it is the same one all over again. Having already weathered the storm once, the government must surely be wondering how it got itself back here again.

The answer is obvious to all, the government included; where it was stonewalling over allegations of electoral fraud which led to the first one, its delaying tactics over the Panama scandal has created this situation. One would have hoped that the government had learned a lesson or two after coming so close to disaster, but when it comes to the PML-N such optimism is always misplaced.

Now that we are at the edge of the precipice, perhaps the government will remember how it got out of this mess the last time - and it seems it finally has. On Saturday, the Chief Minister of Punjab said that he refused to accept his legal team’s suggestion to challenge the Supreme Court’s decision to take up the Panamagate petitions – ones seeking the Prime Minister’s disqualification – Nawaz Sharif preferred to contest them.

The implication, which wasn’t left in any doubt by the Chief Minister’s subsequent sentences, is this; now that the Prime Minister has offered himself up for accountability in front of the nation’s apex court, there is no logical reason for PTI to hold its march anymore.

This formulation may be technically correct – and the PML-N cadres are bound to give it much traction – but it is quite meaningless on the ground. Despite Shahbaz Sharif’s incorrect boasts that, “perhaps this is the only example in the history of Pakistan that a premier completely surrendered himself to court (for accountability)”, the fact is that the government did everything in its power to avoid accountability. Contesting the case in court is nowhere close to what the opposition demanded, and this token ‘accountability’ is fooling no one.

Moreover, the momentum behind the march has been building for months, and these statements will not do anything to stop that build-up. The dharna is happening, and the government has only itself to blame.