Let’s not forget the important questions as we get caught up in the “who called who?” debate. Was the idea to involve the Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif floated by Imran and Qadri? Was it Nawaz’s own brain child? Or was it the Chief himself? Though many will argue that the truth matters here, we must keep in mind that the larger issue, and arguably the greater truth; one that we all know after events of Thursday night, is that the army, one way or the other, is involved. The fact is that somehow the Prime Minister agreed to letting the COAS come in and play a mediating role in solving a political crisis, and he shouldn't have. The decision only serves to endorse the view that the country’s political class is incapable of dealing with its own mess, and that the military remains above them all; irreproachable and trusted, unlike the government or even the superior judiciary, in this case. Even through the most optimistic lens, Nawaz Sharif delegating responsibility, no matter how formally or informally that conversation took place, to the Army Chief does nothing for the democratic process. It undermines his position as well as that of the institution he heads; the Parliament. Thursday night was a huge setback for democracy, but was it the end of the road? It was a sad day, a humiliating day, but was it the irreversible death of the democratic process? Probably not.

What is most tragic is the general acceptance of the “Army to the rescue” political narrative. Why is this acceptable to everybody? Why was it okay that the so-called bastions of integrity and democracy, i.e Imran Khan of container fame and his friendly comrade Dr. Qadri, went running, nay stumbling over themselves, to get to GHQ on Thursday night to meet with the Army Chief? No matter who involved the army, why was that route not dumped by PTI and PAT, when all other democratic routes were deemed unacceptable? What does it say about Imran’s credibility when he goes running to mommy to get his little wounds kissed? We must, as a nation, challenge this narrative intellectually. We must ask the right questions. We can argue for a week about who called the army in to mediate, but we must ask ourselves why they feel entitled to be there and why so many of us are not averse to asking for their help.