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Its the night following voting the day after the General Elections of 2018. After a busy day ensuring the party has fulfilled the voting day organisation and rituals, PTI members stand together as the results are announced. The previous five years intra-party divisions’ seem absent, replaced only by the tension that encompasses all such occassions.

As the results drip through, the elation and poignancy are overwhelming – this time there is no room for middle-of-the-room results, for the last five years PTI has played to win so naturally emotions are heightened. As the night progresses, the nation’s volunteers and members at all tiers are either celebrating or taking solace in the fact that though they may have lost locally, others have won. Come the morning, those that had slept wake up to a government that isn’t lead by Kaptaan. Beyond the initial shock the losers of the day infused with sadness look towards leadership for some response and analysis to the outcome they hadn’t considered.

Kaptaan, after hibernating for a few hours, summons central leadership to an emergency meeting simultaneously running the last 19 years’ defining moments through he’s mind and wondering where and what could have been done differently. The result seemed to be in the bag – even with the flawed electoral system of our nation. Those preparing for the emergency meeting similarly lost in a trance of reflection, but in the current moment more importantly, thinking about how to justify the results. A desperate, chaotic morning with teams scrambling to analyse results yields a few differing opinions, but nothing new is brought to the table. Fraud and intra-party divisions top the reasons for the failure.

In the meeting, Kaptaan visibly distressed and tired, can’t bring himself around to mention the loss so delves right in and the frustration is taken out on whoever dares trying to justify the result. Participants of the meeting, accustomed to thinking thrice before speaking, today daren’t say a word. Those that have won sit smugly in the knowledge that they delivered thinking little about the demographics of their constituency and the fact they had won it before election anyway. The losers under immense pressure need answers as to why the ‘winning horses’ lost. It is concluded more time is needed for analyses and thus the meeting is promptly adjourned.

In the days that follow, stories fill the corridors of Bani Gala and lines of Whats App groups of two-three senior-most leaders defecting to the election-winning party with promises of ministerships or senior positions on the other end. Entirely likely is the reality that these promises were made before election day. Some stalwarts provide IK with “muft-mashwaras” on the exiting team but Kaptaan isn’t fazed by the rumors as he knows those closest to him are he’s loyal soldiers and won’t let him down. Not when he is down. Not now.

It is only Hours later the coup de grâce is delivered. Kaptaan is notified of the news that the sweetness of being in sitting government is too sweet to overlook, even for them who supply Pakistan with its sugar. Though it is something which took many months of negotiation, with the drop of a hat, it delivers the final blow for the Kaptaan. Déjà Vu? Possibly, but the double-whammy is too much for anyone to think carefully on damage control, a few more days are required before the next steps can be thought about.

It seems those at the helm have played the game of political chess and like true maestros were playing two steps ahead, whilst simpleton Kaptaan was only playing the current move. The players of the game gone and Kaptaan with time to think, both have opportunity and the means to make a salvaging move but a message received by Kaptaan suffices to describe the fate of the ultimate loser of this ‘game’:

Sir, we followed you blindly and went by your every word. You summoned and we appeared, ignoring our youth and education only so we can make our nation better. We disagreed with many decisions but trusted your judgement and your intentions. We only knew you would win but it was not meant to be. In this game we represented the ‘pawn’ and though many in numbers we were the weakest, but lead from the front but ultimately we lost. Our generation lost. You have your means and opportunities and we thank you for showing us a short dream but we must go back to the reality that this nation is for the elite only.

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