PML(N) Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif has called for an opposition grand alliance to oust the present government. He said this while speaking to the partys Baluchistan coordination committee members when they met him on Saturday at his Raiwind residence. It was during this meeting that he welcomed the MQM to the opposition benches. This showed his reasonableness, as it recognized that no single party was capable of making such a move. It also demonstrated Mian Nawazs nostalgia for opposition alliances, through which he participated in the removal of two PPP governments in the 1990s. However, that was under a different constitutional arrangement than the one at present, as that allowed the President to dissolve the National Assembly, dismiss the government, as well as appoint a caretaker government and hold fresh elections. With that provision gone, the oppositions task is even more difficult, with the opposition having to persuade the government to hold fresh elections rather than the president. Mian Nawaz took the opportunity of enumerating the problems that led to the PML-Ns conclusion that there was need for fresh elections. These problems included unprecedented inflation, unemployment and loadshedding of gas and power. Among other things, he bitterly criticised the government for its decision to cut gas to Punjab for three days, and to Sindh for two days, calling for an end to this discrimination. He used this context to make it clear to the public that while his response to the MQM, made by its chief Altaf Hussain after its departure from the government, would be positive, it would occur only within a particular context. True, the context of an alliance is one with which the MQM is also familiar, for Altaf was as much there back in 1990 as Mian Nawaz when the COP was formed, but Mian Nawaz should remember that he formed two governments with the MQM, but never contested an election with them. Within the context of alliances, not just Mian Nawaz or the MQM, but all the parties entering the proposed alliance, should remember that the purpose is not to remove the PPP from power and replace it with themselves, but to solve the peoples problems, which are increasing by the day, and which include a refusal to tolerate the business-as-usual plunder of national resources that the members of the government still think their right. The new opposition alliance must offer the electorate the prospect of a definite and positive change in its lives if the prosposed alliance is to be successful.