PTI Chairman, Imran Khan, announced on Sunday that his party would not participate in the All Parties Conference called by the government to discuss national security policy. He presented the juvenile argument that since similar earlier moots had not resulted in the adoption of a policy that could bring the phenomenon of militancy under control, it was pointless for the PTI to give its time to another.

In a stunning display of absolute arrogance and disregard for parliamentary colleagues, the PTI Chairman has not deigned the APC worthy of being graced by his presence. Perhaps Imran Khan suffers delusions of grandeur, in terms of estimating his necessity and success in policy making. Perhaps he has forgotten that his is the third largest party in Parliament, and the larger two, including other smaller parties like the MQM, ANP, etc have already accepted the call to discuss how best to bring the phenomenon of terrorism under control.

He would do well to remember that his party holds office in KPK, the province suffering most at the hands of terrorism, whose people he has a direct responsibility to represent at the conference. For Imran Khan to so casually brush off the call to sit together, and to practically demand that success be pre-guaranteed, is the sign of an immature and facetious attitude to politics.

Further demands from Mr Imran Khan included a special meeting between him, the Prime Minister and the Chief of Army Staff. The fact that Imran Khan would prefer to talk behind closed doors with the COAS, apparently to give him the chance to explain what his “compulsions” are on certain key issues, is an encouragement of a culture of unwarranted secrecy in the name of national interests and hypocrisy that Pakistan is fighting hard to shrug off. What “compulsions” are holding back Mr Imran Khan from asking questions of the COAS, in front of all other party representatives at the APC, is a question that deserves answering.

Mr Khan by his attitude is also insulting his parliamentary colleagues by suggesting that only he is sincere in wishing for the APC to succeed and that his boycott of it is some manner of grand national service, rather than the puerile and disappointing political manoeuvre it is – a sheer waste of time of the taxpayers who have elected him to office and expect him to participate, not sulk away in boycott.

If Mr Khan has no contribution to make to the APC, he must say so, rather than insulting the intelligence of his legions of followers by encouraging the delusion that only he is blessed with some special powers by which to elicit responses behind closed doors.

Party members must convince Mr Khan of the churlishness of the boycott and press him to show bravery by openly debating and discussing issues which will impact generations of future Pakistanis with Parliamentarians, rather than seeking special audiences with the COAS, with a view to “understanding compulsions” instead of responsibly recommending policy.

Mr Imran Khan is a respected member of Parliament in a civilian democracy – the point bears repeating, because it’s not like one can tell from his recent behaviour and statements.