Last week has been full of a whole lot of activity on the political front and it has been difficult trying to keep tabs on everything while, simultaneously, trying to connect the dots between seemingly unrelated happenings. The agencies of the country, as the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament alleged are up to their tricks again. This full-throated war cry against the agencies came at the time when both the call for a sit-in protest by Imran Khans PTI and the cosying up of the PPP and the PML-Q were developing stories. The agencies, if they are in any way responsible for these actions, have remained unfazed in the face of these accusations and are probably deciding in some quiet, mysterious corner how to cook the goose who has dared to speak thus (But that is only my personal assessment and is not derived from any source) To come back to the effects of the sit-in, Imran led from the front and has swiftly become the visible and only instrument for change that people crave. Phir nikla hai diwana koi phoonk kai ghar ko, Kuch kehti hai her rah her rah-guzar sai, Phir aag bharakney lagi her saaz-o-tarab mai, Phir sholey lapakney lagey her deeda-e-tar mai. Faiz If the dharna or the two day sit-in against the drone attacks by America proved anything, it was that Imran Khans political star is on the ascent. The naysayers among his critics were at somewhat of a loss to understand how he was able to do it. They highlighted the poor and inadequate arrangements for the participants of the sit-in, which actually negated their claims of the event being ISI sponsored, and they emphasised that the numbers of those who came was not as big as was expected. Imran spent the night sleeping on the dais in the open. There was a lot of energy and excitement among the crowd. His aggressive stand on the issue of the drone strikes in FATA has forced the issue to be decisively debated among all the stakeholders. If the drone strikes are a necessity, then that too must be explained to the people. Ambiguity is no longer an option. This turning the other cheek and brushing under the carpet approach has to be done away with. The general feeling among the nation is that of frustration, despondency and insecurity. If destruction is what is in store, then we might as well give PTI a chance too. Because, it is now evidently clear, the other options are going to do it to us in anyway. Imran promises change. He has begun to symbolise self-reliance and hope to the youth, which needs its idealism. As more and more people begin to lean towards him, he must start thinking about who to give his party tickets to in the next elections, so that the potential candidates begin their preparations and become known commodities. Meanwhile, the PPP government has been able to persuade the Chaudhries of Gujrat, to sup and dine, if not wine, with them and enjoy the perks of power again. The perks of power have, sadly, nothing to do with the outages of power which have become worse, as the weather has turned warmer. That the dysfunctional systems of governance are not delivering anything to the common man is not going to take the shine away from this brand new alliance. The presidency has won this round of keeping his party safe for the budget passing as well as assigning some new responsibility to Bilawal in September. It is a whole new game of chess with the PML-N likely to be the biggest affectees. The people watch this game of musical chairs, as it goes on - in which faces change, but nothing that really brings about a meaningful change into their lives ever happens. This is the glaring vacuum, which any new and charismatic leader (the subcontinent populace being a sucker for charisma) with a proven, untainted track record can fill so easily. Postscript: The passing away of Moeen Akhtar all of a sudden, a few days ago, led to a massive, spontaneous outpouring of grief. It was as if he was a part of everyones lives in different ways. He had remained unchanged, in his physical appearance, as well as his brilliant talent, over so many years and had brought many hilarious characters alive. His team-up with Anwar Maqsood for numerous plays and shows can never be forgotten. He was that special breed of people, who do not let fame go to their heads and remain essentially humane, despite a huge fan following and adoration. He was naturally witty without ever being vulgar. His death has created a huge vacuum and made us all the poorer in our search for illusive, happy moments. He excelled at all that he did. He could act, sing, host and do stand-up comedy all with equal ease. His observation to detail of all the different characters he portrayed in Loose Talk can serve as an acting academy in itself. Just as Raj Kumar, the famous Indian movie star of yesteryears, said spontaneously on the death of singer Mukesh, Aaj meri awaz mar gai, so must have felt Anwar Maqsood, who wrote most of his scripts for Moeen Akhtar. Both of them together could hold up a mirror to Pakistani society so brilliantly. Alas Moeens shoes are impossible to fill. n The writer is a freelance columnist. Email: