After an eventful week, Imran Khan was ousted as the prime minister through a vote of no confidence. To date, no prime minister has been able to complete a five-year term in Pakistan and this is for the first time that a prime minister has been removed in the country through a no-confidence vote. But what this country saw in the past week was very unfortunate, to say the least. Imran Khan dissolving the Assembly, Supreme Court intervening on a Sunday, National Assembly session being held at midnight, speaker and deputy speaker resigning, reports of Imran Khan trying to de-notify the army chief, PTI selling its foreign conspiracy narrative and what not – all this to cling to power. Given how the tides had turned against the PTI government and how apparent it was that they no longer enjoy the ‘favourite’ status, Imran Khan could have chosen to walk away gracefully and prepare for a democratic fight but he instead plunged the country into an unprecedented constitutional, economic and foreign policy crisis just out of his obstinacy to play ‘till the last ball’. Once again, personal interest reigned supreme and the dollar plummeted to an all-time high of Rs 190, widening the trade and current account deficit. The constitution hung in balance, the country left without a government, and the Foreign Office bore the brunt of deteriorating diplomatic relations. Albeit there were apprehensions of a military takeover which everybody wants the least. Disappointing many by not upholding the sportsmanship expected of him, Imran Khan not just lost the confidence of the assembly but also of the public who had earlier grown sympathetic to him with the entire regime change through a foreign conspiracy narrative. Nonetheless, a faction of his supporters still side by him and refuse to listen to any opinion that states otherwise. When PTI came to power, hopes were attached for the much-needed change they had promised; only to be dashed to the ground. He was called the lesser of the evils among the lot of generational politicians and was welcomed as a breath of fresh air; however, inexperience and immaturity made him bite the dust. In what was dubbed the judicial coup by the former ruling party, the Supreme Court’s verdict was the last nail in the coffin for PTI. With elections expected in a few months, the PTI will now play the regime change conspiracy card to win over the public. What’s worse is that Imran Khan’s politics took the society to the depths of polarization which is somehow a part and parcel of populist leaders. Despite the level playing level field it initially got, having the public mandate, establishment’s support and a weak opposition, the witch hunt against the politicians, silencing of the dissenting voices, surpassing the parliament for legislation, appointing an inefficient chief minister in the strongest province, frequent changes in the cabinet and executive, ditching the allies, and not to mention disappointing the women and minorities with ‘robot’ and ‘blackmailers’ comments, PTI did more damage to itself than anybody else could. Perhaps, they never got off the container and remained in the opposition mode throughout the government as well. They indeed had a vision but not a plan. Arrogance and stubbornness did Imran Khan no good and the sooner he realises this, the better. With power comes responsibility, and the government has to show a bigger heart towards its opponents and make decisions in the best interest of all. Imran Khan did show the qualities of a good leader which will forever be highlighted as his achievements, mainly the much-acclaimed response to COVID-19, reaching the poor through the Ehsaas program, providing universal healthcare with the Sehat Card and strategic handling of the Taliban takeover in Kabul. He, however, reversed his foreign policy achievements by picking up a fight with Washington in his last days, citing a letter that led to his removal, the credibility of which is yet to be ascertained. In 76 years of its existence, Pakistan has only been a hub of political experiments. We have seen military rule, presidential rule, parliamentary rule, socialism, capitalism, mullahism and a beleaguered democracy. The PTI government was yet another experiment but it led to ever increased inflation, poor economic growth and bad governance. More than that, it strengthened the personality cult and weakened the institutions. Just how the army of Mujahideen went out of control, PTI’s social media army also became goons, going to any lengths cursing and trolling anybody and everybody who is critical of their leader. One can only fear the consequences they will face now that they are no longer in safe hands, as history has shown that what goes around, comes around in this country. With elections expected in a few months, the PTI will now play the regime change conspiracy card to win over the public. However, whatever foreign powers plot is of least concern to the public who only struggle for their survival. With Shehbaz Sharif taking the reins of power, it remains to be seen whether we will see some improvement or it would also just turn out to be another bad experience. The new government definitely has a plethora of problems to deal with. The writer is a communications and IR professional. She can be reached at email@example.com, Twitter @mahnoorrsheikh.