LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharifs proposal for a conference of all stakeholders, including politicians, army, judiciary and the media, has not received a positive response from political circles. The judiciary and the army are less likely to come up with any formal response, as they are not expected to take part in such moots. Explaining the rationale of the chief ministers idea, a PML-N spokesman has been quoted as saying: The PML-N is of the considered opinion that there is no unanimity of views on different issues among various organs of the state, and this was the reason we are groping in the dark to find solution. The spokesman further elaborated that this was due to the communication gap which must be bridged through a continuous process of dialogue among stakeholders. An idea for a round table conference had earlier been moved by the government a few weeks ago, but was rejected by the PML-N leadership. There was no move to invite the army and the judiciary to the proposed RTC. Such a conference, no matter proposed by one party or the other, amounts to admitting that the elected representatives on whom the poor nation has spent billions over the past three years has failed to deliver and is also not unexpected to come up to peoples expectations during the rest of their term. And if the collective wisdom of the ruling and opposition parties is unable to devise a strategy to steer the country out of the multiple crises, what can the army, the judiciary or the media do? To begin with, the failure should have been admitted by the federal government, which tirelessly makes ridiculous claims that it has put the country on the road to progress. The PML-N can claim failure, or success, only in Punjab, where it is in power. The chief ministers desire for the judiciary and the army to participate in the conference sounds quite strange. At present, many important cases are pending before the Supreme Court against President Asif Ali Zardari, who is also co-chairman of the ruling PPP. PML-Q president Chaudhry Shujaats nephew is also involved in a high-profile case, which may go to the Supreme Court at any time. Some references against PML-N leaders are also pending, and media reports said recently that the NAB is presenting them before courts. There are also several cases against MQM chief Altaf Hussain, who has been living in exile in London for the past two decades. The judiciary is already seized with many cases and more can come up in times ahead. If the conference is held which seems unlikely - the very same accused-leaders because of their party positions are supposed to be sharing the table with the judges. Is this what the chief minister wants? The call to the army to attend such a moot is equally ridiculous. Highly placed sources say General Kayani, as a policy matter, is keeping himself away from political matters. He is trying to build up the image of the institution, tarnished because of Gen Musharrafs October 1999 intervention. Mr Kayani has also issued clear instructions to all army people to keep a distance from politicians. However, whenever he meets the president or the prime minister, he shares his assessment of the situation with them. He also tells them how the situation could be set right. We provide the government with our assessment on all issues, said an official. If the government has failed to take remedial measures in the light of the advice given by the army chief in the past, how could it be expected now? The chief ministers desire to take the army along is in conflict with the PML-Ns consistent stand that the military has no role to play in political matters. Everyone knows the fate then COAS Gen Jehangir Karamat had to face when he came up with the idea of a National Security Council and an impartial accountability process. He was made to resign. The thinking of the PPP leadership on armys role in political matters is also identical. Prime Minister Gilani disbanded the National Security Council set up by General Musharraf, though it was an advisory body. In such a situation, there seems no justification for any political leader to invite the army for consultations on issues which are essentially for the politicians domain. And if they all feel they cannot take decisions for difficult situations, they should think about their future role.