THE Speakers Conference held at the Punjab Assembly, headed by the National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza, has rightly stressed the need for the supremacy of the Parliament. The 14-point Lahore Declaration is important in the sense that among others, it contains features like resolving the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN resolutions, protecting the Constitution and the institutions, strengthening democracy and the federation in light of the Pakistan Resolution. Indeed, the President and the Prime Minister should be all ears to the views expressed by the Speakers Conference. There is no disputing its conclusion that the nations salvation lies in strengthening the Parliament. It is a pity, however, that President Zardari is still sticking to the presidential powers. The most preliminary requirement of a parliamentary democracy, which vests power in the office of the Prime Minister who is supposed to be the commander of the Parliament, has still not been fulfilled. In its absence only lip service to democracy can be paid. Unfortunately, Prime Minister Gilani has also been found wanting in his obligation of urging the President to give up the powers. Isnt he running with the hare and hunting with the hounds because every time he is asked to relegate the presidency to its role envisaged in the 1973 constitution, he wanders off the point by making statements, such as that the issue of the 17th amendment is irrelevant. Indeed, it is also incumbent upon the parliamentarians to stand up and be counted. They have the example of the judiciary and media before them, and the tremendous struggle both these institutions waged to claim their rightful status enshrined in the constitution. The legislators basically would have to champion the rights of the people, fight against oppression and corruption in all its forms and manifestations. It is high time that the elected members gave up the idea of the national legislature as a debating club. It should now be turned into a launching pad for change and progress in real sense of the word.The country finds itself at a perilous juncture, where a number of threats both internal and external have emerged. There should be little doubt that the Parliament can make a lot of difference, provided it comes with the requisite will and courage. The SC just the other day rightly remarked that the Parliament would also have to play its role in the missing persons case. The comment had become inevitable in view of the supine role being played by the peoples chosen representatives. The Parliament ought to wake up from its slumber.