The PTI is in disarray. The latest departures from its ranks include one former federal minister, Shireen Mazari, and one provincial, Fayyaz ul Hassan Chohan. They are only the more prominent among the legislators and pasty office brearers who have left the party, jumping ship to another party, or abandoning politics all togather, as Dr Mazari says she will. A lot of its leadership is already in jail, and it is increasingly difficult to find anyone to speak for the party. Mr Khan says that these are ‘forced divorces’. It’s easy for him to talk. He has been doing his best to avoid arrest, while such figures as Dr Mazari were repeatedly arrested by the MPO, released on bail, only to be arrested again. Mr Khan clearly had not prepared his party for something that no one has done successfully in the past: rise up against the establishment and succeed. It is also worth noting that while these departures may include forced divorces, a lot had entered the party as a result of ‘forced marriages’. At that time, Mr Khan expressed no objection to Inducting people in his party who were being directed by the establishment to join.
In the battle of ‘red lines’, the establishment seems to be winning at the moment. If the party’s red line is Mr Khan, the establishment’s are the symbols of its strength. Mr Khan is stuck, because the May 9 incidents have not left him with a party, and he may have realized too late that the May n9 incidents will not be pushed behind him so simply. He knows very well that no party has come to power without establishment approval. According to his opponents, no one would know better than him, who was given all its electables and its other help in the 2018 elections, and its help moving forward, whether it was a majority for a budget or against a vocal opponent.
Where does Mr Khan go from here? More importantly, where does he take his party? He has a difficult task ahead of him, that of somehow rubbing out the red line his supporters crossed on May 9, and winning back the support he lost. The point is now now to win the next election, as that is likely to be a bridge too far. Now the purpose is to remain in politics until a situations time arises where all can be forgotten, if not forgotten.