HOPEFULLY, politicians have at last come to the conclusion that attempts at pulling one another's legs would, as in the past, prove counterproductive, letting anti-democratic forces take advantage of the situation. However, there is need for caution; for goodwill messages and expressions of resolve to give up the old politics of mutual recriminations have never been in short supply and yet the slightest provocation has time and again led to a flare-up of sentiments and the trading of accusations. The past few days have been witness to the display of such a dirty game between the PPP and the PML(N). Things seems to be calming down now, and Prime Minister Gilani, currently on a visit to Libya, has telephoned Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif to voice concern at the worsening relations between the two parties. Both rightly viewed the situation as detrimental to democracy, with the PM holding out the assurance that should anyone from his party dare indulge in such an activity, he would take action against him, and the CM reciprocating with the remark that the PML(N) could not conceive of destabilising the present set-up. Whether Mr Gilani's initiative came at the instance of the President, as some reports suggest, or he called Mian Shahbaz on his own, it was the need of the hour. And similarly is the reminder from the CM that it was time for progress on the matters agreed between the two parties. The PPP must realise that fruitful understanding with the PML(N) could not develop without honouring commitments made with it; and the President's reiteration that efforts to put the Charter of Democracy into effect should continue to be played, would not do the trick. It is also good to hear Mian Nawaz Sharif repeat the view that the country cannot bear to stand the politics of confrontation and give the assurance that the PML(N) would not be a party to sabotaging democracy. Efforts must now be made from all sides to build on this climate of goodwill.