A week on, with no azaadi (freedom) in sight, with neither the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf followers azaad (free) from the Grand Delusion, nor the rest of us azaad from the stink they have created on Constitution Avenue (no pun intended), the tragicomedy continues. Billions of rupees lost in trade, investment and the stock market, junoon (madness) songs and the air thick with the smell of filth, literally and figuratively, pave the way forward to Naya Pakistan or New Pakistan.

So much has (not) happened since I intended to write this second part of last week’s piece. Only more filth, of course, has piled up on Constitution Avenue. Thank you dear brothers and sisters of PTI.

So complicated, and yet so basic, the drama may be summarized in these few pearls of wisdom, reportedly, of the Great Khan in Gujranwala on the day the azaadi march passed through that Punjabi city: “Mujhy naashta nahi chaahiyay, banday chaahiyean. Kahan hein banday??” (I don’t want breakfast, I want bodies! Where are the bodies?).

This alleged dialogue of Mr. Khan’s is the fulcrum around which orbit all theories and analysis. Long or short of numbers, it appears the Angels have rained on Mr. Khan’s parade – for now. We could fight to eternity about whether this is how the angels planned it all along, or whether they took fright at the last moment at the sight of the seemingly crazed zombie atop the container - we shall never know. And this rain appears to have had some serious consequences. On Thursday afternoon, as I tried to work through some files, I suddenly became aware of unusual activity on television. Irked but curious, I upped the volume to behold the Great Khan pacing the top of the container, all alone, not a soul either beside him or in the audience – save media DSNGs. And he paced and roared forth to an imaginary crowd – employing the language popularized by his adoring fans on social media. To be fair, his ‘team’ was away press-conferencing, and his supporters back at home or work or wherever they go after defecating on Constitution Avenue, the routine having been long set and decided. But not cognizant of the terrible optics, Mr. Khan decided to leap onto the container and exhort the empty chairs in front of him to, variously, string the new Inspector General Police, to break all boundaries, not pay taxes, listen to Allah, and so on and so forth.

This was the moment it dawned on me that it had finally dawned on him, that the Angels had finally discarded the rubber after their night of pleasure; that it had been a garden path all along. This was the moment I seriously began to suspect Mr. Khan’s faculties of having succumbed to the pressure resultant from the corner he had put himself in, and from the blind faith in the Angels he had put himself into; from the naiveté of having had blind faith in the Angels, and then having the Angels pull the rug from under his feet. It was the moment of the nervous breakdown.

It is a thought most frightening to have an unhinged betrayed darling of an unhinged establishment, for now ensconced in the capital but on general release in the country with a following of eight million people - in a generally inflammable country.

Khan started out with puny crowds (six to seven thousand at the time of departure from Zaman Park, Lahore). But admittedly, there has been a steady increase in numbers – from ‘guilt’ ridden upper class Lahore Defence residents who explain their ‘thought’ process thus: “damned be whether Imran is right or wrong, we are going to Islamabad to boot Nawaz Sharif” and, “I may not agree with his method, but I do want riddance from Nawaz-Zardari system.”

Note the absence of any thought beyond the blood thirst. The epitome of the non-thought process came in the shape of an interviewee on Dawn News yesterday morning. Upon being asked what he/his party envisaged in the unlikely event Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigned and dissolved the assemblies, the protester offered: “Of course we have a plan! We have so many good people who can lead the country. There are great television anchors … they can do the job.” A lesser (or greater?) mortal than me would have sobbed inconsolably for the rest of his life. This is generally the caliber of Mr. Khan’s supporters on Constitution Avenue today.

Only yesterday I tweeted to a kindred soul, “PTI unique party whose survival will be as disastrous for democracy as its extinction.” It is a tragedy of epic proportions that PTI did not stick with demands that were backed by the entire country – demands of electoral investigation, reforms and accountability - supported by the opposition parties and the public at large. It could have gained a big win. Instead, PTI began to dance to a strange tune – a tune reminiscent of a cloaked flute player who became famous at the time of a famous shooting.

Anyhow, it is just well, and a pleasurable sight to boot, to see the Pakistan Peoples Party come to the aid of the sitting government in its fight for survival. Like it or not, it brings back many bitter-sweet memories. PPP, by all appearances, seems to have inherited the day with lectures to the PMLN on how well it handled such crises. And whilst the PPP cannot be allowed to get away with such … inexactitudes as to its sagacity .. it can certainly be credited with deploying an acumen not often witnessed in Pakistani politics. And whilst one is eternally grateful to President Asif Ali Zardari for his eagerly sought ‘help and advice’ to the popularly elected government of the day, one cannot quite forget the ‘insagacious’ events of his rule that the PPP government survived with the help of the opposition parties including the PMLN. This is a simple reminder to some party workers not to forget the tomfoolery of the ‘memo’, the judiciary palava and the governor’s rule. Everyone makes mistakes. When you did, the PMLN came through. Now you are coming through.

Salut the democrats: President Zardari and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

 The writer is a human rights worker and freelance columnist.

gulnbukhari@gmail.com

@gulbukhari