Imran Khan is more important for Pakistan People’s Party than Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. He sets stages, creates events, gathers people and urges them to come up against Nawaz Sharif. He remains successful in doing all that business---and this keeps him high in political world.  But what’s wrong with all this anyway? And is this what really irritates the willful Khan?

Imran Khan sets everything needed to mobilize the people, but at the end Pakistan People’s Party just comes in, plays smart politics, and wins the battle. Frustrated Khan then cries. Sometimes so helplessly.

2016 was not so good for Imran Khan. Better for Bilawal. And the best for Nawaz Sharif.

First, Imran Khan. The frustrated Khan. Why is he so frustrated at the moment? Two possible reasons. Firstly, he is still unable to understand what he actually intends to pursue. Probably he has an idea. Unfortunately, he is French to almost all political means to achieve his desired ends. Secondly, he struggles, moves on, fights like a lion, and earns a little, but at the end of the day Pakistan People’s Party deprives him of everything. It annoys Khan. It compels him to change his moves---sometimes so recklessly.

Seemingly, poor Khan laments, sheds tears and desperately cries---but the guru (Asif Ali Zardari) confidently laughs at him.

Second, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, a genuine Zardari leading Bhutto dynasty, is growing up under the shadow of his father. He makes mistakes but compensates for them wisely. He is being guided to clean up all the mess previous government of Pakistan People’s Party had created across Pakistan. There were moments in 2016 when some analysts suggested the beginning of the end of PPP---including myself. But Bilawal and his father proved us all so wrong.

Bilawal is trying to present a new face of PPP in a way that appeals to everyone. Nothing has changed though. A perception has been created that Bilawal wants to work—he wants a revival of Bhutto’s PPP. This helped him create a good image of PPP and build new alliances to win the next elections.

Third, Nawaz Sharif, the winner, the man of 2016, who played so well and surprised us all.  Although Nawaz Sharif was not well prepared to complete his tenure even this time, yet his formidable enemies did their best to pave his way for a successful completion of his tenure as prime minister. Also, he can hope to win the next elections if his friends –like—enemies keep on moving in this way.

He dealt with Imran Khan. He satisfied the Khakis. He respected the court.  He was with Zardari and Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman. He didn’t let Siraj-ul-Haq get too far. And above all, he managed to have ‘unhappy’ Ch. Nisar Ali Khan. This is what made Nawaz Sharif the man of 2016.

Now let’s move forward. Let’s all of us think for a while as to what will happen in politics in 2017. Let’s rephrase things, but in an interrogative manner now.

Will 2017 not be good for Imran Khan either? Will it be better for Bilawal? And will it be the best for Nawaz Sharif yet again?

Firstly, a disorganized and divided political party with a frustrated leadership may internally remain unstable and threatened. So it is thought that Imran Khan will probably remain in troubled waters in 2017. Ideological confusion within the party is destroying all that Khan had achieved as a cricketer and politician. To come out to lead his party Khan needs to understand what he really wants and what are the available options for him to achieve his intended ends. And efficient means should be opted to get things done. Without a complete review of his own personality and the politics of PTI, Khan will keep on facing this irritating frustration and sense of political confusion.

But as a matter of reality, Imran Khan is likely to follow his unconventional, unplanned, undirected, and undesirable political philosophy to displace Pakistan’s political order. This compels us to draw an unwanted yet realistic conclusion that Imran Khan will remain in the same political and intellectual confusion in the coming year---and may end up the year in an even more awkward manner.

Secondly, Bilawal and Asif Ali Zardari are to be seen at more stable and prestigious positions in the ongoing political drama. Bilawal is a new face for Zardari to use, and make new alliances and appeal to the rural communities in Punjab and Sindh. Political maturity and timely responses to the opposition, shown by the son-and-father duo, assure one thing regarding the future of Bilawal and PPP – that there will be more and more stability and progress without any doubt. So, for Bilawal, 2017 will probably be much better.

Thirdly, what will be the fate of the man of 2016? This is quite an interesting question. His success and defeat, however, largely depends on multiple factors ranging from the GHQ to the Supreme Court. And somewhere in between lies the vital importance of Nawaz’s best buddy and Bilawal’s father, Asif Ali Zardari.  If Nawaz Sharif goes on in the same way, he will survive and rise. He needs to go with all except his nemesis, Imran Khan, a guy who makes him successful all the times.

But for winning the next elections, it is not sufficient. Nawaz and co need to look beyond Orange Train and Motorways. Without performing, they will do for PPP what currently Imran Khan is doing for them.

All other political and religious parties are likely to remain in the same mode. Smaller parties stand by the powerful, or by those who are in the offices like Maulana Fazal-ul-Rehman and Jamaat-e-Islami.

As a whole, it is hoped that 2017 will be year that will strengthen democracy in Pakistan and work will be done by political parties and social activists to mobilize the masses for a real and functional democracy in the country.

Let’s not forget to remind Imran Khan that his fate is in his own hands. It’s up to him what he decides for himself and for his party.