The PPP is trying to swim with two millstones around its neck, President Asif Ali Zardari and Governor Salman Taseer. Both are apolitical, out of touch with the masses and live in a make-believe world of their own. They have got themselves surrounded by sycophants in order to be assured on daily basis that with them in the seat of authority all is well with the country. Criticism is explained away as opposition propaganda or unjustified reaction from a cynical or hostile media. Thus a coalition government which at the time of its inception promised to complete full five years of its tenure without the slightest threat to its existence faces an uncertain future now. While a storm is gathering, sycophants continue to reassure the government that everything is under control. The economy is in extremely bad shape and as has been hinted at by scores of people including the advisor on finance there is no hope of local or foreign investment until there is a respite to political strife and terrorism in the country. The PPP-PML-N alliance came as a result of a realisation in the rank and file of the two parties that no-holds-barred struggle they had conducted against each other had led to the repeated dismissals of their governments and the subsequent imposition of military rule by Musharraf. Party pressure had forced the leaders from both sides to agree to join hands in a coalition. The alliance between the PPP and PML-N was the need of the hour as it guaranteed stability in the country and discouraged the terrorists. This explains the lull in their activity for several weeks after the formation of the coalition government. The terrorists found it difficult to take on the new government which represented a unified national will. The alliance exerted a healthy influence on the right leaning PML-N which had already bid farewell to some of its extremist allies whose influence had restrained it in the past from taking a firm position on terrorism. The influence exerted by the Saudi government had further strengthened PML-N's resolve to take on terrorism. The alliance fell apart on account of Mr Zardari's devious tactics. He simply did not want to install the really independent judges. He was keen instead to a have pliable judiciary with whom he could enter into behind the scene deals. With the simplistic thinking of a go-getter he cared little for the long-term effects of the lack of trust his unprincipled dealings politicking was bound to generate. Instead of outright refusal to reinstate deposed CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry which he would have done if he was an honest man, he continued to mislead the PML-N through false promises made in public. This was highly unjust as he knew the party had vowed in its election manifesto to restore all deposed judges. This led his partners to conclude that he was not a man to be trusted. While refusing to reinstate the depose CJ, Mr Zardari said he was elected to provide roti, kapra and makan rather than to restore the pre-emergency judiciary. It does not matter to him that people simply refuse to believe him on account of their constantly deteriorating economic conditions over the last eleven months. Days before the PPP occupied Islamabad, Mr Zardari made a solemn pledge that the grievances of the Balochi people would be resolved soon after the party was in office. Eleven months in power, hundreds of kidnapped persons and political detainees continue to languish in safe houses and jails, the displaced persons still live as refugees in their ancestral homeland while the province is in the grip of violence as never before. Why must Zardari make promises he knows he is not going to fulfil? President Zardari's credibility is impaired beyond remedy. In a society where unwritten promises carry more sanctity than legal agreement, he has exhausted his political fortunes by making false promises and violating solemn agreements in a cavalier like fashion. Nobody really trusts him, not even his present allies that include ANP, JUI-F and MQM. A continuation of the Governor's Rule despite 207 Punjab MPAs passing a vote of confidence for Shahbaz Sharif is indicative of the bad faith. Coalition governments in Sindh and NWFP have functioned without interference from their respective governors. Not so in Punjab. Here Salman Taseer has consistently conspired to overthrow Shahbaz Sharif, making overtures to both the official PML-Q and its dissidents. He has tried thus to destabilise the most stable province in the country. This has reduced the party's influence in the province. The PPP possesses a team of educated middle class leaders who have a life time record of sacrifices for the restoration of democracy. It also has thousands of dedicated workers who constitute an asset no other party possesses. The PPP will however have to pay a heavy price in terms of political influence if it was to leave major decisions to Mr Zardari and his unofficial advisers. What the party needs is a more democratic working, a reduction in the influence of hitherto un-elected advisers and a more active role by the prime minister.