Imran Khan’s political career is an archetype of an irresistible propensity to take somersaults on declared goals and objectives as well as an undying streak of defying the law and settled democratic and parliamentarian norms. The much-hyped tsunami to sweep away the decadent and rotten system of governance never happened and instead, the country saw the emergence of yet another demagogue prepared to make compromises and build a false narrative to reach the corridors of power. He was very fond of eulogizing western democracy and quoting Einstein in an effort to establish his credentials as a revolutionary. But alas, in spite of his charisma and the accompanying popularity among a particular segment of the society, he failed to deliver on both counts. He flouted democratic norms that eroded his democratic credentials. In a democratic dispensation, the government and opposition are two sides of the same coin and for running the system efficiently and adding an element of impregnability to the democratic process, working relations between them are absolutely imperative. Imran exhibited untenable arrogance and cockiness by rejecting any idea of sitting together with the opposition parties to resolve the national issues and turning the political rivalry into political enmity. The opposition was denied any role in the legislative process as the PTI government mostly relied on Presidential Ordinances to enact legislative measures. Politics is an art of the possible. It needs flexibility and pragmatism. What happened to his regime had to happen. The opposition which was pushed to the wall had no choice but to fight back. It did so in a constitutional manner as also endorsed by the apex court. Politics can wait for better times. It is time for a grand dialogue as suggested by the Prime Minister. It was probably the shock of life for Imran to have been ousted. That probably did affect his mental faculties to evaluate the situation in a rational manner and adopt constitutional means to deal with the emerging situation. The situation demanded that his party should have remained part of the parliament as the opposition party and used that forum to explain his case to the people and waited for the next elections to allow the people to deliver their verdict. As they say, there is always the next time. However, that was never to be. He thought that he could mobilize the masses and get rid of the new government through street power. He build the narrative of an international conspiracy and also accused state institutions to have played a role along with the PDM parties. The fact is that he relied on false narratives to win the sympathy of the people for his cause. Finally, after addressing public rallies throughout the country where he attracted sizeable crowds, he announced a march on the capital promising to bring 20 million people to put pressure on the government to succumb to his demand for the dissolution of assemblies and announcing the date of elections, reiterating that he along with his follower would stay put in the capital till the time his demands were met. But as we saw, his march ended like a damp squib. He could not bring more than 20 thousand people to the capital. Political analysts and those who understand the dynamics of politics in this country feel that it would be very difficult for him to rebuild the momentum that he did through his public rallies. They are of the view that instead of resorting to disruptive politics, he needs to bring sanity to his politics. It is not surprising that even within his own party there are people who think that PTI should return to the assemblies. Even Pervez Elahi has advised the party to fight its case in the parliament. That is how democracy runs and works. The economic situation and political instability in the country are a cause of worry for every patriotic Pakistani. Honestly speaking PTI government is mostly responsible for the economic quagmire that the country is stuck into. On top of that, the country is in political turmoil which it can ill afford at the present moment. The onus lies collectively on the political leadership of the country as well as other stakeholders to steer the country out of woods. There is a need for a nationally owned economic strategy to ward off the dangers lurking on the horizon and impart much needed political stability to the country. They both go hand in hand in the process of national re-building. Imran Khan is an irrefutable reality and so are the other parties. They all have come to the parliament by winning the franchise of the people. No party or a leader has the right not to recognize their presence in the parliament. Imran Khan needs serious rethinking in view of the permeating situation. Immediate elections are not a solution to the problem. The tradition of destabilizing the sitting government must give way to allowing the political party in power to complete its mandated tenure. In my columns, I have invariably been agitating this view because it is the only way to strengthen democracy and respect the mandate of the people. Though the PDM has brought about the change in a constitutional manner, it would have been better for them to have allowed Imran to complete his tenure. The way things were going had dented Imran’s popularity to a great extent. The country needs politics with sanity. It is the collective responsibility of the politicians to winch the country out of the current crisis. Imran is better advised to remain part of the parliament and allow the system to run as per constitutional and democratic norms. It is encouraging to note that the party has decided to contest the by-elections in Punjab and also deferred the second attempt at the long march. A similar approach should also be adopted at the federal level. The prolongation of the ambience of confrontation is neither going to benefit the parties concerned nor serve the vital national interests. Politics can wait for better times. It is time for a grand dialogue as suggested by the Prime Minister. The country is faced with grave challenges. Now is the time for political leaders to show their character and commitment to the national causes rather than their own narrow political agendas. In politics, there is always the next time. The writer is a former diplomat and freelance columnist.