All eyes are set on November 30th; Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s D-Day at D-square. Islamabad is quiet, a possible lull before the storm. But there is an air of uncertainty and anxiety over the unpredictable scenario that may emerge in the federal capital in the coming days.

That Imran Khan is angry and desperate is evident from his recent statement that his patience is over and that he will announce a future line of action which would be ‘horrible’. Are PTI and the government gearing up for ‘Round Two’ leading to another possible showdown in Islamabad?

Is Khan preparing to lead the protestors for a final push into the red zone or will he give the call for a nation-wide shutter down strike? Will the PTI give a sudden surprise in the Khyber PakhtunKhwa assembly? If Khan’s recent remark about Raiwind echoing with ‘Go Nawaz Go’ is to be taken seriously, is he planning a ‘grand finale’ with a long march to besiege the Sharifs’ bastion in Lahore?

In light of the not so impressive August 14 show by the PTI, it remains to be seen if Imran Khan succeeds in mobilizing the masses. After more than three months of intensive mass communication from aboard his ‘azadi’ container and widespread public sympathy/ support in highly successful rallies in major cities, it would be disastrous for Imran Khan if November 30th ends up in a routine PTI show without countrywide participation.With the exit of Dr Tahirul Qadri and his large number of followers from D square, the PTI can no longer afford to be complacent in this respect.

With only a few days left for the mega dharna, there are yet no signs of ‘pro-change’ likeminded political parties like Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) or Jamiat e Islami (JI) as well as civil society including trade/ labor/ kissan unions, lawyers organizations and NGOs participating in D square from all over the country.

In case of JI in particular, it is clear that despite being PTI’s political ally in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with many ideological convergences between the two parties, the JI is playing on both sides of the wicket. In principle, it should join the PTI in D square even if it were to be a symbolic show of solidarity.

A massive show of strength will strengthen the PTI’s negotiating position, whereas a poor show will only embolden the government’s hard-line and non compromising posture in meeting the PTI’s main demand for an election audit on PTI’s Terms of Reference (TOR).

The nation is rightly concerned that the present state of confrontation between Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan cannot go on indefinitely and are justified in demanding that it must end now. The government has not exhibited the resolve to find a way out of the current log jam.

It is primarily the government’s responsibility to defuse the situation and avoid a possible chaotic scenario on or after November 30th. The prime minister needs to demonstrate statesmanship and large heartedness by taking charge of the situation and should engage Imran Khan directly to find a way out to end the stand-off.

Pakistanis wonder why the country’s premier institutions remain silent spectators and have not made any worthwhile or meaningful efforts to resolve the prolonged crisis. Why is the honorable Supreme Court not taking action on the government’s three month old request to set up a judicial commission to investigate the allegations of rigging in the 2013 elections?

If the Supreme Court finds constitutional and legal impediments in setting up such a Commission, then it may like to engage the government to remove the hurdles, if any. Since the TORs are the real bone of contention between the government and PTI, perhaps the Supreme Court should intervene and help both sides in reaching an amicable agreement in this respect. An initiative by the Honorable Chief Justice to meet both Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan would be welcomed by the nation.

After all the furor in parliament and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s controversial statement on the floor of House over Army Chief General Raheel Sharif’s meetings with Imran Khan and Dr. Tahirul Qadri, the army appears to have distanced itself from making any contribution towards ending the impasse. But in the larger national interest, Raheel Sharif should consider making another sincere attempt at mediating between Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan .

If Pakistan’s leaders cannot resolve their domestic issues, then history may be about to repeat itself. Is the stage set for yet another intervention by foreign powers in Pakistan’s internal affairs? It is well known that certain friendly western and gulf countries were involved in sponsoring then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s safe passage to Saudi Arabia after General Musharraf’s October 1999 military takeover as well as the despicable black National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) deal between Musharraf and Benazir Bhutto in 2007.

Imran Khan’s meetings with European Union, Chinese and US ambassadors indicates that Islamabad based foreign diplomats appear to be getting concerned over the unending political crisis in the country. Is Imran Khan under any kind of foreign pressure to postpone the November 30th event? It would be yet another sad and shameful day for the country if the same old international guarantors were to intervene to mediate or facilitate a resolution to the ongoing Nawaz – Imran conflict.

Thanks to tremendous media support, the PTI has seriously dented the strong status quo, but a convincing victory in the long term is still far away. Fair and transparent investigations into the 2013 elections are only the first step in this direction. It will only be through greater support from other likeminded political parties and a sustained countrywide mass movement, that Imran Khan’s struggle against a well entrenched status quo system will reach its logical end.

The writer is a retired brigadier and a political/defence analyst and columnist