Proximity to power can lead one to believe that they actually wield it but in Pakistan, the nerve centre of influence lies in Rawalpindi, not with elected or selected representatives.
The delusion is fair, after all, Rawalpindi and Islamabad are so close.
Sitting in the Prime Minister House, chairing cabinet meetings and being constantly surrounded by sycophants can inevitably lead one to believe that they are the ones in control.
But where does a puppet go once the show is over, after the applause is done and the curtain call is made?
Lifeless is the life of a puppet. A few moments of glory and an eternity of silence.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had no qualms exchanging his legacy of greatness with something grimy and slimy albeit shiny from the outside.
Even Jamali has been Prime Minister but Pakistan had only one Imran Khan.
Today, Imran Khan is no hero, he is malleable as they come, trying to wheel and deal his way into survival.
But every day is not Sunday, to quote the words of Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed whom Imran Khan would not even hire as a ‘chapraasi’ during his days of glory.
Those days are long gone, and now PM Khan is like a moth gripping on to a light bulb, unaware of how long the light will stay on.
It is said that if one has powerful friends, one can make many enemies.
Imran Khan made an enemy out of the bureaucracy, the media, the judiciary, the Election Commission, the Opposition, his ATMs and his loyalists but now Khan tried to make an enemy out of his masters.
The same masters who manufactured the PTI government in 2018 as delicately as a pearl necklace.
Now, each pearl is slipping away so fast that soon, there won’t be any necklace left.
Imran Khan wanted his own DGI in October, in March he doesn’t even have his own party.
The man Khan didn’t want is now in Islamabad, and the man who could save him is in Peshawar also stuck in a career quagmire just like his friend.
With no more phone calls and invisible support Khan has gone back into container mode.
Even if Khan doesn’t have enough MNAs to stay on as Prime Minister, he still has a cult following which may, on his call cause anarchy in the country.
Exactly how the Vote of No Confidence will move forward with “a million” PTI supporters in D Chowk is anyone’s guess.
Even seasonal fruits like the Chaudhrys are worried who are famous for the mitti pao doctrine.
Why did betrayal have to be this hard?
But a betrayal has happened and everyone who is betraying Imran Khan now says Khan made the first strike.
Whoever has significantly helped Khan has always tasted his wrath and now they don’t have any appetite left to work with him.
A source says that Imran Khan has a nuclear option, maybe another general not being talked about, who can come and make all problems disappear.
The allies warn of a situation of Dama Dam Mast Qalandar if things are not controlled before the Vote of No Confidence.
Anything goes in love and war and here, the love for power can make the contenders break all rules of war.
But if the history of Pakistan has taught us anything, it is that Rawalpindi always, always gets what it wants.
Where does that leave Imran Khan’s house of cards?