It all started with a dream, a dream that would change the fate of our people. All problems will be solved once the dream turns into reality. Were the dreamers ready to become part of the struggle with their hearts and souls and to embrace the promised change? Not surely, but that’s what visionary leaders are for: to lead the people and transform them into a formidable force. Were the settings perfect and the moment ripe to realise that dream? Not completely, but that’s what revolutions are for; to change the imperfect settings for a perfect future. Were the preparations complete and plans aligned? Not exactly, but that’s what revolutionaries are for: to stand tall against all odds and change the fate of the people even in the worst conditions. The PTI’s dream of “Naya Pakistan” was nurtured for more than two decades. Four years ago, in 2018, finally, the stars seemed to be aligning (or were made to align) for the dream to become a reality. However, when reality began to unfold, so did the reality check. When the moment of truth came, it struck that, well, not every element of the dream was in its right order. The leader who had to lead the dreamers realised that reaching the top seat was just the beginning and that the real task lay ahead, and the promised change would not just come by. The revolutionaries who had to lead the change were either worn out or were sacrificed during the process of “change” and replaced with the so-called “electable”, thus most of the original contenders for change were not present when the curtains were raised. Politics doesn’t necessarily require experience, but running a country certainly demands political acumen. One easy solution could have been following US President Ronald Reagan’s mantra i.e. “to surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you’ve decided upon is being carried out.” But Prime Minister Imran Khan started his on-job training with some of the most incompetent associates, barring just a few. The lack of experience and incompetence didn’t bother many back then, because it was assumed that one honest man on the top would suffice. He would make corruption disappear, bring the looted money back, put all crooks in jails, set Pakistan on course and everything will be hunky-dory. With his star power, Prime Minister Imran Khan managed to stir and engage a disgruntled silent majority who had previously stayed aloof to the political process altogether. Four years down, none of that has happened. On the contrary, the country finds itself in the middle of one of the worst constitutional crises in history with a worsening economic situation in the loop. The people of Pakistan haven’t witnessed many highs in the 75-year history of the country anyway, but the current crisis is likely to have a far-reaching impact at so many levels. While subversion of the constitution over the alleged foreign conspiracy by the ruling PTI will leave a damning impact on Pakistani politics overall, the PTI has done the biggest disservice to its own followers who had put their faith in the promised change. Notwithstanding the process through which it came to power, the PTI could have been the best thing that had ever happened to Pakistani politics, had it stayed true to its own stated principles. With his star power, Prime Minister Imran Khan managed to stir and engage a disgruntled silent majority who had previously stayed aloof to the political process altogether. The promise of change was successfully tapped into the indecisive youth, but Instead of strengthening the political process, the failure of the PTI experiment has weakened it to the extent that half of its support base has lost faith in the system altogether and will eventually fall back into their shell of indifference. The other half is either in a state of denial or has become a lethal tool of populist politicians who thrive on the politics of subversion, polarization, and lies, and is unable to accept any alternative view. These are dangerous trends for a country already rife with the menace of intolerance and extremism. They say it gets worse before it gets better. The current crisis, however, is unlikely to get better anytime soon. The longer the uncertainty, the slower will be the recovery from the shocks of the current political turmoil. While fresh elections seem to be a logical next step, going down that road, before restoring the sanctity of the constitution, would only add to future problems. If nothing else, the current political crisis should serve as a reminder to all political parties that they are answerable to the people and going back on their promises would damage themselves the most. The writer is a Lahore-based analyst.