It is said in chaos theory that small changes within a deterministic algorithm can morph into larger differences- the ripple effect illustrates the momentous change brought about by a singular, often minute event. While some factions of the state manoeuvred the vote of no-confidence as a means to depose the former Prime Minister Imran Khan, they also inadvertently primed the stage for the massive surge of public support for him. Victorious, Khan has emerged as a populist leader flanking support from a majority that no longer accepts the status quo of subservience. Be it Iqbal’s “khudi” or Imam Hussain’s unfettered courage, Khan’s ideology is an embodiment of these esoteric values that call upon a person to question and reflect upon the notions of the status quo. Surely, inducing a current of change carries with it certain costs- whether it is in the form of baseless allegations of gifts that were “unaccounted” for or a failed assassination attempt. While both are attempts to purge the leader’s burgeoning support amongst the masses, the former is an example of how state policy is employed for the furtherance of clandestine and ulterior motives. This author contends that the Toshakhana controversy is, in fact, a smokescreen employed by a few to undermine Khan’s civil movement against a repressive, corrupt regime. The legal fraternity has clearly explained how the Toshakhana case against Khan had no legal grounds but was ridden with political vendettas of the biased Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). Furthermore, the NAB Reference 6/2020 against a former president and two former prime ministers clearly mentions that vehicles were illegally retained from Toshakhana by all three of them and that the payment of duty and taxes was made from fake accounts. By the look of it all, it seems that this case was manufactured to tarnish Khan’s image, as he was the only one who paid all the required taxes and fulfilled all the legal requirements in relation to the Toshakhana gifts. Imran Khan is not just this country’s former Prime Minister but also a philanthropist who receives donations from all over the world for a cancer hospital and other institutes every year. A person whose autograph alone can raise millions certainly does not need to hinge on the behest of a gift to garner funds. The fact that a serving Prime Minister had increased the payment protocol for retaining Toshakhana gifts (from 20 per cent of their value to 50 per cent) speaks volumes of his intention to enrich the public treasury through the Toshakhana rather than profiteer from it. Khan’s ideology is an embodiment of these esoteric values that call upon a person to question and reflect upon the notions of the status quo. The Toshakhana scandal and the ECP’s subsequent role in “disqualifying” Khan reek of malafides under the guise of so-called state accountability. While not delving into the legal intricacies, this author would like to shed some light on the various loopholes surrounding this case. First, a state department (ECP) acted ultra vires (beyond one’s legal authority) in rendering a decision that it had no legal standing to render. Simply put, the ECP is not a court of law. Hence, any declaration of disqualification of a lawmaker under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution is void, to begin with. Second, concealment of assets under Section 137 (submission of statement of assets and liabilities) of the Election Act cannot be a question in a reference under Article 63 (disqualification for membership of Parliament) of the Constitution. The ECP engineered a false premise of disqualification by bringing Khan’s honesty into question through an allegation of concealment of assets. And third, the issue at hand is time-barred; in case of alleged discrepancies, the ECP has 120 days to look into the matter, yet, the department had undertaken the issue after the lapse of the designated time limit. The Toshakhana scandal employs the use of selective accountability tactics and morality to spew accusatory claims on a person who has been globally extolled for his untainted credibility and integrity. In Richard Nixon’s perceptive book “Leaders,” is a substantiation for stationing a leader among the greats on the basis of three components: a great man, a great country, and a great point of concern. According to Nixon, a leader’s prodigiousness can only be legitimately gauged when he is pushed to the boundaries of his capabilities. Without challenges, no leader would demonstrate his strength of character. Applying Nixon’s benchmark, one is inclined to rate Imran Khan’s civil movement as that of a great leader leading a great country towards the noble cause of self-determination (khudi). Perhaps, the most cumbersome task, in this case, was to link Khan to allegations of corruption charges, which despite overzealous efforts stand devoid of any merit. The writer is a Minister for Communication & Works, Punjab. He tweets @sahialiafzal.