In Pakistan, Imran Khan’s Long March and Tahir ul Qadri’s Azadi (Freedom) March have come and gone. There is no doubt that the government could and should have handled things better. There is also no doubt that its panic-stricken reactions encouraged both sets of marchers into believing they posed a greater threat than they actually did. But now, that is history.
They were given a free run. They marched and reached the capital. But their show of strength was poor. Mr Qadri had fewer numbers but his followers are diehard supporters. Mr Khan had greater numbers, though less than a tenth of the million he had promised. It soon became apparent to both leaders that their strength was insufficient to pose a real challenge to the government.