PRESIDENT Asif Zardari has withdrawn the controversial Ordinance meant to set up mobile courts on the advice of Prime Minister Gilani. While many thought the step by the President constituted a gesture at confidence building, confusion has been created by the statements of Federal Minister Khurshid Shah who said the Ordinance was being withdrawn only to remove a technical flaw and would be re-introduced after the Assembly session, which indicates the government is bent on implementing a measure widely criticized by the opposition, media and human rights bodies. It has been pointed out that as the judges would be appointed by the government rather than the superior courts, mobile courts are likely to be stuffed by loyalists who would be required to punish the opposition. Appointments of the sort are also against the concept of the separation of judiciary from the executive. The power to sentence an accused without giving him a chance to prove his innocence through an attorney is also against universal principles of justice. Many would have praised the government if it had admitted that it had committed a blunder and was willing to undo it. As the proceedings of the Punjab Assembly session on Tuesday indicate, the rationale given to justify the Governor's rule; the lack of majority by either the PML(N) or the PPP; was fallacious. Belying the unsubstantiated claim that the PPP enjoyed the support of 250 members, the PML(N) succeeded on Tuesday in ensuring the presence of 207 members in the House who unanimously expressed confidence in Mian Shahbaz Sharif. It is time the PPP leadership realises it has goofed up by imposing Governor's rule and directs Governor Salman Taseer to urgently convene a session of the Assembly to elect a new Leader of the House. This would be a first step towards much-needed rapprochement with the PML(N). With the lawyers' protest march scheduled to begin on March 12, the government has little time for dilly-dallying. The Supreme Court decision against the PML(N) top leaders, combined with the ill-advised Governor's rule, has left the party with two choices, either to go into the political wilderness or try to get both steps reversed by turning the lawyers protests into a movement with wider aims. The President's Adviser has made it known that the government would not allow the protesters to enter Islamabad. As this might not be possible without use of force, the protesters might respond in a similar way. Things might go out of control for the organisers of the march, allowing enemy agents in the form of terrorists to play havoc which could even lead to the suspension of democracy. It is time the leaderships of the two parties reached a compromise. Mr Gilani should play a leading role in bringing the two sides together on the basis of the terms offered by the PML(N).