IT is a great pity that although the government has been in power for nearly a year and a half, certain vital matters like the constitutional distortions created by past military regimes have not been settled. This has provided ample room for political controversies to flourish, needlessly wasting energies that had best been spent on solving the people's problems. Reports about President Zardari's unwillingness to part with certain powers the 17th Amendment accords him have been circulating for quite a while. Now, it seems that the PPP has brought round a majority of the members of the Constitutional Reforms Committee to the view that he should not be turned into a mere figurehead. But the main hitch is not only that this position is not only in conflict with the dictates of parliamentary democracy and the Charter of Democracy, but also is being forcefully opposed by the PML(N) and several other influential forces in the country. It is quite clear that unlike the PML(N), the PPP does not want the restoration of 1973 Constitution in its original form, and favours powersharing between the offices of President and Prime Minister. A story carried by this paper yesterday indicates that both Mr Zardari and Mr Gilani are in agreement with each other on this issue and the balance of powers that the PPP has in mind envisages the President retaining the power of appointing service chiefs, governors and some other key officials. One really wonders how the authorities could let the matter linger on for so long, while the country is facing multiple and crucial challenges. The ideal solution for political harmony would have been for the PPP to adhere to its commitments in the Charter and revert to the 1973 Constitution. However, in view of the differences, the package of constitutional reforms should be brought before Parliament without any further delay. It should be debated threadbare and a final formula adopted consistent with the requirements of democracy.