Minority support in Parliament should give sleepless nights to any government constituted under a system of parliamentary democracy. When the MQM deserted the PPP-led federal governing coalition, leaving it short of the required number of members on the Treasury Benches, one could see Prime Minister Gilanis desperation, running from pillar to post as other parties gave the cold shoulder to his pleas for support. JUI-Fs comeback would not have made up the gap, while the MQMs would have given the government a small majority. Thus, reconciliation with the MQM at any cost became its priority. Its support would make sure that the PPP stays in power, unruffled by the possibility of a vote of no confidence against the Prime Minister that could ultimately threaten the partys rule and lead to mid-term polls. At the same time, the Sword of Damocles of the ultimatum given by Mian Nawaz Sharif would cease to hang inasmuch as it would have lost its edge. The challenge of taking difficult decisions would stand warded off. It seems that Mr Zardari, who holds both offices of the head of the party and President of the country against all norms of the system, and felt his own official position somehow threatened, must have given his blessings to Mr Gilani to take whatever steps he deemed appropriate to retrieve the situation. Mr Gilanis first move was to take back the phenomenal increase in the prices of petroleum products brought into effect on January 1 and had provoked cynics to term the ill-conceived gesture as a New Year gift. In fact, he went all the way to humour the MQM and win back its support: visited Nine Zero, the first sitting PM to do so, receiving the red-carpet treatment; had conversation with MQMs chief Altaf Hussain on line from London, and sought his partys help to tide over the critical and challenging times through which Pakistan was passing, and promised to soon visit him in London; and, in exchange, he gave an unequivocal assurance to remove all of MQMs grievances. The MQM could not have expected anything better. Its demand now centred round addressing the basic problems of the people. The initial grouse Sindh Home Minister Zulfiqar Mirzas accusation of target killings has already been soft-pedalled. There are speculations that the MQM would be offered another important Cabinet slot, apart from two Ministries it earlier held, to lure it back into the government. Nevertheless, under the circumstances of other opposition parties getting edgier with the way the government is working, the partnership might not work out as a smooth relationship unless the PPP comes round to dancing to MQMs tunes. The disbanding of the structure of feudalism, the permanent shelving of the RGST, checking the across-the-board abnormal price hike these and other similar issues would continue to come up whenever the MQM felt it was being short-changed.