The Khan Express continues barrelling forward. The massive show in Karachi was followed up by an even bigger one in Lahore; catchy music, a rowdy crowd, mass corruption, the usual fare. It seems that the ‘Dharna’ aimed at immediately ousting the prime minister has morphed into a nation-wide election campaign. The only caveat being that there is no election in sight. Furthermore, announced that his next rally would take place in Mianwalli. What does he aim to achieve out of this national campaign? It is not immediately obvious. This show of force comes as the numbers at Islamabad was dwindling dangerously low. It seems he need a change of scenery. Perhaps, realising that his middle class, urbanite support base can’t handle the rigours of hard street politics, and can’t attend the Dharna. He shrewdly brought the Dharna to them. Touring the major urban centres allows his Internet activists and couch analysts to come out in his support. His speech was the same speech we have been hearing for a month; low on policy, high on rhetoric. The only point that stood out was an appeal to people to burn their electricity bill as he had done.

It looks like Imran is adamant in continuing his misadventure with civil disobedience; a call that brought almost negligible response from his followers and severe condemnation from his opponents. Other PTI patrons have paid their bills including Jahangir Tarin and Shah Mahmood Qureshi. But this call is more specific. It is aimed at the residents of Lahore and asks them to do a specific action, burn their bills. Imran Khan is playing with fire here, failing to generate enough unrest in the capital to dislodge the Prime Minister; he is now trying to incite lawlessness in Lahore. Let’s look at the situation he imagines, people burn their bills, their electricity is disconnected, the government comes to collect the outstanding bills, people wallowing in heat react, get angry, fight. The police gets involved, and its business as usual. The people, even his own supporters, have been prudent enough to disregard such calls, let’s hope such logical thinking prevails again.

Just because there will be a “Naya Pakistan”, doesn’t mean its going to be any less rotten. Naya Pakistan is just an obsession, the old in a shiny package, manufactured cheaply, hollow inside. Hollow objects make bigger noises, just like Khan’s speech in Lahore. There were no hopes that he would say anything or actual value, on ending his charade, on any compromise or step towards peace. And Khan did not disappoint.