This, or else

Despite there being a need for some clarifications, few could find fault with the demands put up by Mian Nawaz Sharif in return for lending support to the government. While the government is right to maintain that the recent rise in the international price of petroleum products has led to the hike announced consequently by OGRA, the suggestion to devise a new pricing mechanism needs to be discussed and, if found feasible, implemented. This will reduce the burden on the people as well as help improve the economy. There are widespread stories of corruption in the administration. By removing the corrupt ministers the government will only improve its image. It would also do well to heed the demand to probe and remove the ministers, bureaucrats and heads of autonomous bodies and corporations involved in unethical activities. The Prime Minister has to fulfill the promise made several months back to cut the size of the cabinet to reduce the government expenses.

A number of demands are aimed at the much needed improvement in the system. These include setting up of independent accountability commission and reconstitution of the election commission to make both independent and impartial. The PML(N) has also demanded reduction in the prices of essential commodities. The government definitely needs to benefit from any panacea that the PML(N) might be having in its possession. It also needs to implement the Supreme Court’s verdict on NRO to avoid a clash with the apex court which it can ill afford. Unless the government has skeletons in its cupboard, which it claims it does not, it should not hesitate to probe and punish those found responsible for the sugar scam, Agosta submarine scandal and fraud in NLC, PSM and Bank of Punjab.The implementation of the reforms may not be possible for the shaky ruling coalition. Being a minority government it has an inbuilt sense of insecurity. The implementation would require the induction of the PML(N) into the coalition government. It remains to be clarified whether the PML(N) is ready for it.The PML(N) needs to reassure the PPP that it does not want to target individual leaders of the coalition and is in fact more interested in reforming the system. This would improve mutual understanding – PT