WITH 47 PML(Q) MPAs out of a total of 84 calling themselves as "Unification Group" having applied for separate seats in the Punjab Assembly, forward bloc politics has moved a step further. Group leader Ata Maneka wants his faction to be a part of the PML(N) led coalition government in Punjab. Punjab Q-League President Ch Pervaiz Elahi has condemned the move as a glaring example of horse-trading by the PML(N), questioned it on moral and legal grounds and expressed doubts about its feasibility. According to him those who had been elected on the Q-League ticket had no moral right to constitute a forward bloc. He threatened to take the matter to court. According to him, horse-trading would take a toll of governance in the province while the PML(N) would disintegrate if turncoats were to be accommodated at the expense of party loyalists. While it is for the courts to judge the legal aspect, many would agree that horse-trading has been highly detrimental to Pakistan's political culture. It is ironic however that none other than Ch Pervaiz who helped General Musharraf carve the Q-League out of the PML(N) should sermonize over the immorality of horse-trading. Again when after the 2002 elections when the PML(Q) found it could not form government, it worked hard to create a split in the PPP and welcomed the turncoats who joined the Q-League-led coalition under the name of PPP-Patriots. Despite being the largest single party in the Punjab Assembly, the PML(N) does not have majority. It has the option to form a government either with the help of the PPP or the Unification Group. While its leadership claims the Group comprises mostly former PML(N) legislators who are returning to the mother party, it conveniently forgets that most of them had abandoned the party when it was under dire pressure. For five years they enjoyed perks and privileges without any qualms and even preferred to fight the 2008 elections on the Q-ticket. Many if not all might again abandon the PML(N) if given a better offer. Instead of seen to be promoting horse-trading, a better way for the party would be to join hands with the PPP both at the centre and the province.