Imran Khan’s quest to take the Sharif family and get to the bottom of the Panama issue is a noble cause, but is the strategy adopted by the PTI going to serve it well in the long run? In the latest of his statements, the PTI Chief warned the former Prime Minister of Qatar, Hamad Bin Jasim Bin Jaber Al Thani, to keep himself out of the Supreme Court Panama case on Thursday, lest he be arrested for lying to the apex court. The two-fold threat both accuses the Qatari prince of lying and with potential incarceration on his visit to Pakistan – not altogether appropriate for a politician looking to one day become head of government.

Imran Khan and PTI’s collective bravado and using colourful language for opposition leaders has come to a point where even foreign leaders are fodder. This type of rhetoric is great at eliciting cheers from the crowds at the party’s rallies, but – considering that even if the party does rule one day, it cannot do so alone – is the PTI leadership confident in its ability to win over all those it has spurned and insulted over the years? Local politicians might still be easy compared to prickly members of royal families of various states.

Trying to scare the former Prime Minister of Qatar, Hamad Bin Jasim Bin Jaber Al Thani, with a prison sentence in an ally country is a little beyond just empty accusation – if PTI had been in power, this could have led to a serious diplomatic incident. Yet, the case only shows that the PTI may be at wit’s end with the case in the Supreme Court, where the whole process does not seem to be swaying in their advantage.

It may have something to do with their strategy: as single minded focus on overthrowing PM Nawaz Sharif, come what may. The vendetta against the Prime Minister is beyond PTI’s high ‘anti-corruption’ moral ground, or even Pakistan’s diplomatic relations with other countries. It has pigeon-holed itself, and led itself to be seen as anti-Nawaz rather than truly anti-corruption. The saving of Pakistan has to be a much larger agenda. We need better laws, and smarter parliamentarians. We needed the PTI to show better judgement in KPK, where the Domestic Violence Bill is pending, school curriculum is heavily peppered with religious teachings rather than academic or scientific fact, and funds are being appropriated by seminaries connected to dangerous groups. All of this is balanced by the Supreme Court verdict, and if it is in the favour of the PTI, it is only a small victory, for the totality of their performance does not inspire great confidence.