Though little appears to have changed on the surface, the tectonic plates underlying the Pakistani political landscape have been shifting. Put an ear to the ground, and you can hear the low rumble of the system searching for its new equilibrium.
Even though President Arif Alvi may regret being unable to achieve any major ‘breakthrough’ in the backdoor talks he has been quietly mediating among the government, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and the establishment, there are signs that his efforts may have started bearing some modest results.
For starters, all the players seem to be tamping down on their combative tendencies, which had so far made it difficult for a settlement to even be discussed. This is, if nothing else, encouraging for those who would like to see the increasing volatility in national politics be dialled back down to normalcy.
Former Prime Minister Imran Khan, who has taken the country almost to the edge of anarchy in an angry fightback after his early dismissal, now seems to be reconsidering some of the positions he has taken. He recently abandoned his opposition to the Army chief’s appointment by the incumbent government, and also seems ready to pack up his theory that a ‘US-backed conspiracy’ was behind his removal from power.
On the other hand, the prime…