THE ruling leadership may go through a cumbersome process of consultation before finalizing the proposed constitutional package, which was formally approved by PPP Co-Chairman Asif Zardari and forwarded to the coalition partners. Law Minister Farooq Naek, who personally delivered a copy of the document to PML-N Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif in Lahore on Sunday, said the draft was not final and changes suggested by coalition partners could be incorporated before moving a bill in Parliament. A news report indicated that, apart from the main points recently unveiled by Mr Zardari, the package proposed to insert a new clause in Article 243 of the Constitution to authorize the PM to have the final say in dealing with a situation arising out of external aggression. This will be in addition to other proposals like revoking the President's power to dissolve Parliament, transferring his authority to appoint provincial governors and services chiefs to the PM, and barring the President from running for office for a third term. But as one takes into account the divergent views of the two major coalition partners on the modalities of reinstating the deposed judges and General Musharraf's exit from power, the proposed package is likely to run into difficulties. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's observation that Mian Nawaz should stop making 'impractical demands' and complicating the situation clearly points to a deepening rift between the two parties. The coalition cannot escape the blame for its failure to take control of the situation, but it was mainly the PPP, which has complicated the whole issue by linking the judiciary's restoration to the November 2 status with a constitutional package in violation of the Murree Declaration. This can be perceived as an attempt to not only validate General Musharraf's illegal actions, but also eliminate distinction between the judges who were sacked for rejecting the November 3 Proclamation of Emergency and those who took oath under the PCO. But the point on which the PPP leadership is noticeably silent is how to get the proposed constitutional package through when the ruling coalition does not have the required two-thirds majority in the Senate. Mr Zardari must keep in mind that a flip-flop approach towards resolving important national issues is not only damaging his own credibility but also strengthening the forces desperate to derail democracy. It is time the political leadership and legal fraternity jointly endeavoured to stabilize the democratic system, which the country requires to meet the burgeoning challenges.