The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) has yet to realise that the courtroom is an altogether different beast from the container pulpit. Conjecture, character assassination and rhetoric may elicit fevered cheers from a crowd, but the court has to produce a reasoned verdict – and that requires something much more substantial.

The Supreme Court bench hearing the Panamagate scandal case spent a large portion of its time educating PTI and its legal team about this difference, and that too in scathing words. The party's legal counsel was chided for wasting time by "going into mind-numbing rhetoric" and was told to focus on the issue at hand instead of his "meandering arguments". Despite having raised tremendous hue and cry about the Prime Minister's alleged corruption and the government stonewalling a legal inquisition, the PTI came woefully unprepared to tackle the hearing itself.

It goes a long way to show the ineptness of the Captain, that the biggest blow to the Prime Minister in the hearings was struck by the Prime Minister's legal team itself, when it gave an alternative narrative of the purchase of the flats through the Qatari prince. PTI, on the other hand, hasn't been able to provide much evidence that complies with legal standards or imperils the defendants. 

The party's biggest difficulty seems to be identifying what the court wants to know. The bench has to constantly remind the party and the counsel that the Prime Minister's misdoings over the course of a lifetime are not on trial, but the controversial ownership of the London apartments is.

Imran Khan may be congratulating his party leadership for getting the Prime Minister's family in the courtroom, but the fact is that unless the party manages to provide irrefutable evidence, the family will simply walk away. It is not enough to show that the Prime Minister is a dishonest character, or even undeniably prove that he lied about the status of the London flats at one point or the other, the burden of proof that the party has taken on itself is to show that these flats were bought through laundered money, and unless that fact is proved beyond reasonable doubt, Imran Khan should not be congratulating anyone.

This is not the court of the mob, in the Supreme Court – as in any other tribunal – evidenced facts rule the roost, and it is the duty of the accuser – in this case, Imran Khan – to provide them.