PROBABLY out of sheer desperation, the PML(Q) sprung into action by taking out a protest rally at GPO intersection in Lahore on Monday against defectors in the party. Shouts decrying horse-trading made by members of the party, that itself was once known as Lota league, sounds quite absurd. Addressing a press conference later, Ch Parvaiz Elahi vowed to teach members of the forward bloc a lesson, which reveals the gravity of the situation. With the ongoing reconciliation efforts between the PML(N) and the PPP in Punjab, things are not so rosy for the PML(Q). It is a tough time for the Chaudhry brothers as the party appears to be on the verge of collapsing like a mud fort in monsoon rain. It is no more in power and its patron saint, former President Musharraf, has departed from the political landscape. The strength of the forward bloc members continues to increase with its leader Ata Maneka having claimed that the bloc had attained the 50 percent majority enough to avoid the defection clause. This also entitles it to be an independent parliamentary party with its own leader. The protest organized by the PML(Q) on The Mall moreover indicates that the party is not happy getting the taste of its own medicine. But what else could be expected from a political set-up built on a house of cards and just to achieve petty political ends? After all, it was conceived by General Musharraf and mostly comprised of turncoats from across the political spectrum. The party's purpose was to strengthen his arbitrary rule by providing him with a legal cover. Resentment against it on account of its guilty silence and blind obedience accorded to General Musharraf made it the object of public ire. Other parties must draw the right lessons from this episode.