On March 26, the Supreme Court suspended Sharif's seven-year sentence in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption case, and granted him bail for six weeks with a condition that he would not leave Pakistan.
The terms of engagement that Imran Khan will offer will be no different from those of the past: dialogue under the shadow of calibrated terrorism and greater focus on issue resolution than building co-operative mechanisms through trade and connectivity.
In his potential new role as helmsman of not just a playing eleven but all of Pakistan, is Imran Khan likely to unleash another hostile spell against India? Or will Imran the politician be different—marked by flexibility, pragmatism and amiability?
Rawalpindi is seen to patronise him. And it’s a conducive pitch electorally—even if Nawaz Sharif, playing the victim card, poses a threat from prison. But the pennants of Imran Khan’s PTI fly the highest. Can he lay a new path for Pakistan’s fractured polity?