WEDNESDAY night saw a major political consensus finally take shape with the PML-N coming back from its rather strange and sudden parting of ways on the constitutional reforms, which took most people by surprise. It was equally surprising to discover within the space of a few days, the PML-N coming back and accepting the general consensus within the Constitutional Reforms Committee. Whatever the causes for the PML-Ns quick turns, the result has been historic. The 18th Amendment Bill draft is now ready for tabling to the Parliament and, if passed, it will not only restore the 1973 Constitution it will make qualitative changes to it. Finally the dictatorial aberrations to the Constitution will go and the President will become a mere figurehead - as should be the case in accordance with the 1973 Constitution. In addition, the major new changes to the 1973 Constitution include the giving of more powers to the Parliament, which were previously held by the President and Prime Minister, the abolition of the Concurrent List, which had become major political anomaly after over six decades plus of independence as a state. There is promise of a more independent election commission so one hopes there will now be an independent election commissioner. The matter of appointment of judges has also been resolved in favour of preserving the judiciarys independence. The provinces are to get more control over their resources as well as a share in GST, and clearly the trend towards devolution of power reflects a more confident and healthy federation. However, some basic issues continue to remain. Although the PML-N finally accepted the rather lengthy name of Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa for the NWFP, on this issue there was no consensus and parties like the PML-Q have given their dissenting notes. Although they have said they will not oppose the Bill as such, these dissenting notes do reflect a less than national consensus on the renaming of the NWFP. There is a feeling that perhaps with all the give and take taking place between the PML-N and the ruling coalition, specifically the ANP and PPP, Mian Nawaz Sharif could have sought some agreement over the Kalabagh Dam from the ANP given the growing water crisis the country faces. Again, given how Mian Nawaz does not repose any trust in President Zardari, how was he able to concede to the name that had first been suggested by Mr Zardari? Nawaz Sharifs fast-shifting stances do raise credibility questions. The issue of the renaming may have been less contentious if it had been left to a referendum so that the people could have made the ultimate decision for themselves. But the die has been cast and let us hope that this bold democratic spirit creates a more united federation and undermines all those holding fissiparous agendas for this nation.