In a major development, the ranks of the PML-Q Forward Bloc have now swelled to 47. Its leader, Dr Tahir Javed Ali, has asked for the blocs recognition as an independent parliamentary group and submitted a requisition to Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana Iqbal to declare them as such. The Speaker assured them that he would take action in consonance with rules and regulations. Now that the Forward Bloc has practically made a demonstration of their majority and left the PML-Q numerically in a minority, their right to decide their fate would, sooner or later, be accepted. This is perfectly alright under the parliamentary democratic system we have designed for the country. Now with their number having shot up to 47, it is the PML-Q that faces the danger of being one of the smaller opposition parties. There is little doubt that the Speaker would make the right decision and decide on the matter quickly. It is worth pointing out that the Forward Bloc had submitted a similar requisition in 2009 as well, yet no action was taken. This time around, it would be difficult to ignore the democratic right of the group. Members of the bloc also held a meeting with Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif and chalked out its future strategy. Reacting to the development, leader of the leftover faction Chaudhry Zaheer has stated that the birth of the turncoats took place in the government incubator. But whatever the circumstances of its birth, the fact remains that it wants to be dissociated from the parent body with which it has developed difference of opinion on how to serve democracy as well as the country. Chaudhry Zaheers claim that the requisition for a separate parliamentary group was illegal hardly seems justified.