LAHORE - Good days, it appears, are over for President Asif Ali Zardari and in the days, weeks and months ahead he may have to face uneasy situations one after another.

And, unluckily, his own party, demoralised by the humiliating defeat, as well the parties which have been coalition partners with the PPP during the past five years will not be able to rescue him.

Some of the allies of the former ruling party have already distanced themselves from the PPP and have joined hands with new partners, another bad omen for the occupant of the presidency.

A glimpse of what the new governing party – PML-N – has in store for the president was seen on Wednesday at the swearing-in ceremony for the new prime minister. Mian Nawaz Sharif felt tense in the company of the president and he only reluctantly shook hands with him after reading the oath. The facial expressions of the third-time prime minister spoke a lot. He did not like to have a contact with the president, perhaps, because of his bitter experience of working with the PPP in the first 40 days of the previous assembly.

The saccharine smile of President Zardari failed to ‘beguile’ the guests and everyone saw that the new head of the government was not feeling comfortable with the head of state.

Another embarrassment awaits the president on June 10, when the joint session of the parliament is likely to be convened. The president will address the session, and with it will start the parliamentary year of the new parliament.

Under the parliamentary system, the president is supposed to read out the speech provided to him by the government. And the speech likely to be given to him should not be very difficult for anyone to imagine.

In the speech to be made at the advent of the parliamentary year, the government explains the prevailing situation and shares with the lawmakers the policies it would pursue during the ensuing year. Then the speech is discussed separately in both houses for weeks.

The president cannot alter the speech, no matter whether he likes the contents or not. It was only the late Gen Ziaul Haq who used to read his own speeches because he believed that if the head of state has to read out what the government wants him to do and tell the people frivolous things like the number of dispensaries and latrines proposed to be set up next year, then there is no justification to spend tens of millions of rupees on this office every month.

Perhaps, the PML-N government will like to say that the previous government was responsible for ruining the economy, destroying all state institutions, mis-governance, deep-rooted corruption, crippling loadshedding and lumbering the country with unbearable burden of foreign debts.

And while giving the remedy for the situation, the government may like to reiterate that it will bring back to Pakistan the looted wealth lying in Swiss banks. (Both Mian Nawaz Sharif and Mian Shahbaz Sharif have repeatedly stated that they will bring President Zardari’s $60 million from the Swiss banks).

And if the speech could not embarrass the president adequately, the ruling party legislators will try to ‘satisfy’ him in their subsequent speeches. And with Speaker like Sardar Ayaz Sadiq presiding over the NA session, everybody would be welcome to make as many lacerating remarks against the president and the PPP as they like.

The situation during the past five years was quite different for President Zardari. He was running the PPP (his denials notwithstanding) and the government and used to heap praise on the policies being pursued then. In fact, his appreciation of the government policies amounted to self-praise as “credit” for whatever the government did for the people was Zardari’s.

Addressing the new house – which is full of his critics and adversaries - may be a different experience for the president.

Even if the new ruling party doesn’t take a decision to impeach the president because of lack of the required numerical strength in parliament, it may create a situation which will make it difficult for Mr Zardari to continue to hang on. And if he still insists to complete his term, which is ending in September, it will mean that his level of tolerance for embarrassments is much higher than can be imagined.

Interestingly, the spiritual leader of President Zardari has been quoted by a section of the press as saying that he was supposed to enable the president to complete five years in presidency and he kept his word. He claims that he is still in a position to do something which will make it possible for the president to stay another two years in the presidency. If even in the unfolding situation he can help Mr Zardari stay on, it will be nothing short of a miracle.