THE Constitutional reforms package in the form of the 18th Amendment Bill draft presented to the Parliament and the Senate on Friday has been rightly hailed as a step in the right direction. It would be no overstatement to comment that this comes as a breath of fresh air in an otherwise suffocating state of affairs. After President Zardaris address to the Parliament on April 5, debate would start on this draft Bill and hopefully it would have smooth sailing in the House. It is a source of some comfort to know that 102 amendments have been proposed, after which the Presidential powers under 58(2)b would be revoked and individuals would be able to hold the PMs office for more than two terms. Besides, the President then would no longer be able to issue any ordinance during the sessions of the Senate and the National Assembly. While the power to appoint the service chiefs would be given to the Prime Minister, the Presidents authority in appointing the judges of the apex court has also been further curtailed and given to the 7-member Judicial Commission and a Parliamentary Committee comprising 8 legislators. It is equally pleasing to know that other extra-constitutional distortions like the LFO and the name of General Zia-ul-Haq would no longer have any place in the Constitution. With the abolition of the concurrent list, the tricky issue of the provincial autonomy has also been taken care of. Moreover, the division of 25 federal ministries among the provinces would go a long way in strengthening the federation. However, the rather unsavoury episode involving the renaming of the NWFP with PML-Ns topsy-turvy approach, finally giving a nod to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa was a source of discomfort. It would have been in the fitness of things if the matter had been left to the public choosing a name through a referendum, rather than to the parochial elements in the province. This issue is still lacks consensus and some parties have already given their dissenting notes on it. There is every reason to believe that the presentation of the 18th Amendment Bill shows the ruling dispensations commitment to democracy and supremacy of the parliament. However, it is also worth mentioning that this course of action would have remained a dream had the thoughtful voices not made all the right noises pressurising the government to put its house in order. Concurrently, with the presentation of the package, Prime Minister Gilani has urged the PML-N leader Mian Nawaz Sharif to consider rejoining the federal cabinet. A positive response especially given its know-how of the economy and aversion to foreign dictation can make a significant difference.