The Panama verdict may still be the centerpiece of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan’s appearances in the public, but another scandal – one of Imran Khan’s own making – is also staking its claim as a burning talking point: the alleged Rs10 billion bribe attempt. Despite Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s announcement that he will sue the PTI chairman for defamation if he does not reveal the name of the supposed ‘messenger’ who offered the bribe, as well as supplications from his own party members, Imran seems to have doubled down on his assertions and even expressed a desire to be taken to court at a recent rally.

Both parties involved are invoking the Supreme Court’s name and both are not backing down from their positions. Perhaps this game of political brinkmanship will take us to court after all.

Fresh from the Panama case hearings, another string of highly publicised court hearings is the last thing the political climate needs. But the obstinate stance from the PTI chairman – that he will only reveal the name of the messenger in court – seems to take us there.

Apart from a desire to see the media-circus such a trial would initiate, there is no reason for Imran Khan to withhold the name and push for a defamation charge. If what he claims really did happen he should fully reveal the circumstances and provide evidence to back up his claims. Having made such serious accusations the burden is on him to prove they are right, instead of the government proving they are wrong. Mirroring the plight of the Prime Minister during the Panama verdict, it is Imran Khan now who must come clean; it is he who is under scrutiny.

The Panama case was an aberration where the government had to provide evidence of its financial propriety in face of allegations – and that was only because of the nature of the Prime Minister’s office and his own contradictory and seemingly incriminating statements. In every other scenario however, it is the accuser who has to provide proof. Mr Imran Khan has yet to learn that he cannot hurl out claims without backing them up.

However, this tenuous relationship with proof, is the hallmark of Imran Khan’s rallies. Grand narratives of corruption and rigging are weaved out of tidbits of information. At this recent rally Imran Khan cited certain books to “prove” that the ruling party has a habit of bribing officials. Words have consequences, and the PTI chairman will have to prove the worth of his if the defamation suit is filed.