And for three weeks, we watched as the fringe dragged itself to the centre and raised itself into a miasma that has engulfed us all.
It wasn’t particularly surprising. There is effectively no government. And definitely no one who could handle this situation.
Civilian government or military dictator, ours is a top-down, personality-driven system. A figure in whom not only is the power of high office vested, but who also has the legitimacy or strength to wield that power.
Khaqan Abbasi is manifestly not that person. Shahbaz maybe could’ve been that person in this particularly hellish scenario, but we can’t know because he’s been too busy sulking.
For better or worse, there were only two potential wielding-power-at-the-very-top figures who could — could — have sorted this out before it snowballed.
But Nawaz has been stripped of office. And the chief, we have now learned, believes national cohesion is on the line because of violence by both sides.
It isn’t surprising the danger grew and grew.