"He who imagines he can do without the world deceives himself much; but he who fancies the world cannot do without him is still more mistaken." - La Rochefoucauld President Asif Ali Zardari has finally taken a calculated risk to pull the country out of the present political and economic mess. This move by the head of state, undoubtedly, has come after mounting pressure on the federal government by the US administration, brazenly demanding the release its national, Raymond Davis, who is involved in a tragic incident in which two innocent Pakistanis lost their lives. In the past, the US has tried to ride roughshod over the world without caring for the law or the conventions, which governs the relationship between different countries. For example, recently when 1,500 Indian students were duped by a California-based 'sham university, the US administration instead of supporting the students shackled each and every one of them with electronic monitoring devices treating them like animals, and threatening them with immediate deportation if they opened their mouths. Like Pakistan, the Indians were slow to react. However, when Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna stood up and informed Washington that the behaviour of the immigration authorities and Homeland Security was not acceptable, keeping in view the merits of the case, the US was left with very little choice but to relent on the issue to an extent. On the contrary, USAs attitude towards Pakistan is not only brazen, but also against the accepted norms of diplomacy. It should have allowed the Government of Pakistan, and more specifically the Punjab government, which is seized with the investigation process of Raymonds case. However, the American administration has pursued the case in a manner, which has not only hurt the victims families, but also the nation. Then while the federal government was trying to redress some of the economic problems pointed out by PML-N Chief Mian Nawaz Sharif in his 10-point agenda (through which he feels that some of the country's economic woes can be surmounted), PML-Q has put forth a set of its own points. That, according to them, if sincerely followed could help to release at least some of the economic pressures faced by our economy today. At the same time, Punjabs Senior Minister Raja Riaz has also unveiled 19 points demanding from the provincial government that in case the proposal formulated by the PPP (Punjab) is accepted, it will help reform the working of the provincial administration and improve the economic conditions in Pakistan. However, it is unfortunate that all the issues - economic or administrative - always fall prey to the cut-throat political manoeuvring. Thus, the political atmosphere largely remains vitiated due to disputes and mistrusts. Indeed, our politicians have learnt no lessons. That has helped all those who have no respect for the will of the people leading to an early demise of democracy. Although the present rhetoric of the political leaders has shown a shade of maturity, yet one can hear voices call for a revolution without realising the consequences that may emerge, if indeed it takes place. Such people are drawing parallels with Egypt, Tunisia and some other Arab countries, which have been under despotic regimes for a considerable period of time. But they must not forget that democracy has been established in Pakistan. Parliament is working along with a vibrant and an independent judiciary. These are the essentials of any democratic set-up, yet the erroneous parallel continues to be drawn ostensibly by those who do not believe in the will of the people. As if that were not enough, whenever the government has tried to increase the tax bracket by enveloping those people who should pay their taxes regularly, a hue and cry is raised, forcing it (the government) to revert back to granting subsidies that have made the situation worse. But this does not mean that the government should not share the blame for the present mess, since the criteria laid down for good governance is either absent or, if present, is in a weak shape. The President, who is not a trained economist, but, nonetheless, has till today been able to outsmart his political adversaries, has finally decided that the time may have come when all major political parties in Pakistan should sit together and devise a strategy that will pull the country out of the present mess. The success of the roundtable conference will depend on if the politicians agree, putting in place a system that is transparent and corruption free. Surely, the President will do a great service to the nation, if he is able to bring about a consensus that all those guilty of bartering Pakistanis resources for corrupt practices will be severely punished. On the sidelines, the President is expected to bluntly inform his guests what the US officials are telling him about Raymonds case. It must be remembered that logic must prevail over emotions, and a cool calculation must be made by our leadership, so that the issue with the Americans is resolved in a way that provides face saving both for Islamabad and Washington. One expects that sanity will prevail, and instead of politicising the issue the leadership will indulge in some damage control activity. Leaders, who are highly vocal about the issue, must keep Pakistans interest before anything else, and should be advised to carefully calculate whatever they are trying to achieve. Meanwhile, the US too must show some patience because Pakistan has a fair judicial system, and in case Raymond is able to prove that he had acted in self-defence, he would be released. Also, our Foreign Office should come out straight on the issue. In case, the US State Department has presented some evidence, which proves that the American national enjoys immunity, it should be presented before the court rather than remaining silent. Anyway, the roundtable conference called by the President will only succeed if all those who are participating feel that the economic issues faced by the country require economic solutions, and thus refrain from politicising the event. The failure to tackle the challenges faced by Pakistan will have serious consequences in future. More so, in case some of the participants present worthwhile solutions, the President and his team should not hesitate to accept them. While it will not be an easy task to find a common ground from the motley group that has been invited by the President, yet everyone must understand that in case they fail to reach consensus, they will be left with no option but to accept part of the blame for finding to resolve the countrys economic problems. The writer is a freelance columnist. Email: zarnatta@hotmail.com