The political leadership seems to be in a tight corner at the moment especially after the Supreme Court's landmark judgment and the challenge it posed to the parliament. The judgment has left a lot to be sorted out by the parliament and its custodians making it a tough calling for the leaders of the main political parties having greater stakes in the parliament and outside. All eyes are set on how the leaders of both PPP and PML (N) adjust themselves to the emerging situation. The actions of both the parties collectively or separately in pursuit of SC's judgment will bear far-reaching consequences. The sound and fury generated by the judgment show that the media representative, public and some political stakeholders want quick responses from the leaders of both sides on questions that apex court shot at the parliament. It will be a historic moment in the country if the parliament takes a collective decision to punish Musharraf. First time an Army Chief will be tried for intervening in politics. Forces outside parliament and those lost power recently are watching the two parties' leadership quite anxiously and want them to put their cards on the table, sooner the better, especially on two counts, Musharraf's trial and NRO. Already PML (N) is ready to play the ball no matter what it takes. It has already taken a populist stance on the issue of Musharraf's trial. Making its intentions loud and clear, the PML (N) has adopted a resolution in one party meeting, demanding Musharraf's trial for subverting the constitution, taking lead from other parties who are not yet clear on the issue. It is all set to initiate a move in the parliament in this regard shortly. It has also decided to rope in other parties in the parliament to evolve a greater consensus to try Musharraf. It will also seek cooperation of the PPP in piloting through parliament a resolution that would force the government to take action against Musharraf. The PPP on its end has adopted a much safer route, taking refuge under parliament. The Prime Minister promised to take action against Musharraf provided parliament evolves consensus, which is a scenario pretty farfetched in the present circumstances. So far the reaction of the military towards the SC judgment and its possible implications is not known. More informed circles mainly political ones however are convinced that for military leadership Musharraf's trial being an army chief would be totally unacceptable. They even strongly believe that even for PML (N) pressing ahead the issue of Musharraf's trial would not be that easy and smooth, if not fraught with risks. The horizon of conspiracy theorists as always stretched even far ahead as if a real political storm is gathering over political horizon with the potential of sweeping away everything. In federal capital rumours of darker days ahead are swirling all over the place. The fate of NRO is another challenge that both the PPP and PML (N) leadership face now. It is very important for the present political set-up what line of action PML (N) adopts vis--vis NRO. In case the PML (N) gives in to public pressure or adopts a more populist stance that work against the PPP then both the ruling parties would come face to face once again with all its destablising effects for the system. As such leaders from both sides are required to tread the political course quite carefully to avoid any confrontation. Already the PML (N) leadership is under pressure from its party cadres to part ways with the PPP. Some of party's senior leaders talked about mid-term polls quite openly more recently. Already war of words and wits has resurfaced again in Punjab the reverberations of which could be heard even in Islamabad. We found the Governor criticizing the Punjab government for its failure to pre-empt the Gojra riots. Responding to his critical remarks, Sardar Zulfiqar Khosa the main trouble-shooter these days from PML (N) tried to settle score with him. He issued a lengthy no hold barred statement venting all he could say about the Governor, using a very strong language. Fozia Wahab too is failing to hold herself back. Of late, she has been very critical about the Punjab government. If this is not enough, the PPP leaders also accused the PML (N) leaders of stabbing in the back. They believed that it was PML (N) fomenting trouble for the PPP in parts of Punjab on issues like loadshedding, spearheading agitation there. While the PML (N) leaders think that PPP has been resorting to delaying tactics or going back on its words once again when it comes to 17th Amendment. It seems that the issues that the leadership of both parties are likely to confront in days to come will test their coalition that is already undermined from inside by mutually harboured suspicion and mistrust. In the process, their political wisdom too will be tested. E-mail: