A report in this newspaper indicating that the PPP has decided to form its own cabinet if the PML(N) does not rejoin the federal government by the end of the month points to a widening of the gulf between the coalition partners rather any bridging of it. The PML(N) ministers quit the federal cabinet 42 days after taking oath of office when the ruling coalition failed to meet the second deadline set for the reinstatement of the deposed judges. Mian Nawaz Sharif took the decision because he did not want to be perceived as dithering about his commitment on judges' issue. And he is sticking to his stance. The PPP leadership having realized this, will reportedly make a last ditch effort to convince him to rejoin the federal government. Mr Asif Zardari, who is also in London, is likely to meet Mian Nawaz and request him to review his decision on this particular issue. The PPP may be finding it difficult to run the government effectively with its ministers feeling hardpressed to manage their additional portfolios. But its leadership is confident that even if it fills the vacant cabinet slots with its own legislators, the PML(N) will continue to support its government at the Centre as the party will remain part of the Punjab government. There is little likelihood of a parting of the ways between the two mainstream parties especially after Mian Nawaz's recent observation that staying in the ruling coalition was a sort of compulsion for his party in order to rid the country of a dictatorship that had brought it to the verge of destabilization. Mian Nawaz was well within his rights to object to the PPP leadership's approach of making important decisions without taking the coalition partners into confidence. But then to be a part of the decision-making process, he will have to shed obduracy that is aggravating disputes. It bears repeating to both Mian Nawaz and Mr Zardari that their failure to resolve mutual differences will further weaken the coalition, especially as the forces averse to democracy are busy hatching conspiracies to drive a wedge between them. This became obvious from Karachi Nazim Mustafa Kamal's observation in the presence of President Musharraf that the PPP, which he termed a product of ISI, had formed an alliance with the remnants of Zia. The MQM leadership disowned the comment, which coincided with Sindh Information Minister Shazia Marri's strong reaction against what she described as a "highly irresponsible" and "condemnable" attitude. Ms Marri's statement should serve as an eye-opener for Mr Zardari, who continues to make compromises and cut corners, all in the name of so-called reconciliation efforts.