IT would be assumed that the leader of the countrys largest opposition party and his brother would be critical of the government, especially when that brother happens to be Chief Minister of the countrys largest province. However, the PPP federal government should listen to Mian Nawaz Sharif, PML(N) Quaid, and his brother Shahbaz, Chief Minister of Punjab, more carefully than to mere opposition voices, because what they have said represents the feelings of the people about the present government. Mian Nawaz has warned that the present governments policies could lead to martial law. Mian Shahbaz, while addressing the Iqbal Day function held jointly by the Nazaria-e-Pakistan Trust and the Tehrik-i-Pakistan Workers Trust, identified the main shortcoming of the government when he said that those who looted national wealth and then transferred it to Swiss bank accounts were responsible for the abject poverty and unemployment in the country. He was thus able to cross the ts and dot the is, and link the present price spiral to corruption in high places. Mian Nawazs remark about martial law deserves some attention for he was addressing a genuine concern, though it reflected upon both the performance of the government and the commitment of the military to democracy. There is a genuine danger, because the governments ability to control the present price hike will determine whether it can survive, or whether it will be overthrown. The present government believes that its obedience to American dictates would allow it to practice corruption unchecked, but it is now having its logical result in the price hike that is being witnessed across the board, both in utilities like petrol and gas, and food items, like sugar. The result has been the impoverishment of the common man, and his reaching unheard-of heights in his suffering. The PPP must not only gear itself up for ruling, but it must re-orientate itself totally, and move away from its present single-minded defence of an individual to a more all-encompassing concern with the welfare of the people of Pakistan. Perhaps Mian Nawaz and Mian Shahbaz were too polite to mention it, but this focus on one person, and the use of the whole government machinery to prove his innocence, is intrinsic to the corruption of the regime and thus to the price hike which is causing the people so many problems. The PPP will have to allow something that it is firmly resisting because of that one person, the rule of law. If that leads to any particular individual having to cough up the proceeds of corruption, then the PPP should realise that it is big enough a party to sustain the loss. If the implementation of the verdicts of the nations apex court affect an individual adversely, even if he happens to be President of Pakistan, the law must be allowed to take its course.