ONE had hoped that after the election of Mr Zardari as President things would start calming down in Punjab, the fears of the PML(N) government getting destabilised would finally be put to rest and the two major parties would, whether working in government or opposition, act in the positive spirit needed under a democratic polity. Unfortunately, however, some elements have shown a marked disposition towards keeping an atmosphere of inter-party tension alive. Their political wheeling-dealing might have been motivated by the desire to pressurise the PML(N) to rejoin the PPP-led coalition at the Centre if it wanted to maintain its government intact in Punjab. This outlook is contrary to expectations and, indeed, disquieting, considering the long and arduous struggle the politicians have just been through to oust an army dictator. The Punjab Governor's unguarded utterances and his Wednesday meeting with the Chaudhry brothers give rise to suspicion. The interest of the country could be best served if the ruling PPP were to show a large heart and accept the PML(N) rule in the Punjab, where it has obtained the people's mandate. Now the PML(N) is not insisting on the exit of the PPP ministers from the Cabinet and has given repeated commitments not to unnecessarily put a spoke in its wheel at the Centre. The PML(N)'s stand about the restoration of deposed judiciary and repeal of Article 58(2b) and the 17th Amendment fall in line with the declared objectives of the PPP as well, and should not cause any worry in its circles. The sooner the PPP implements its promises in this regard, the quicker will the friction between the two end. PML(N) leader Chaudhry Nisar's statement that his party would not extend unconditional support to the central government is nothing unusual, coming from an opposition leader. The daunting multi-pronged challenges the country faces both in the local and foreign domains also strongly argue in favour of the smooth sailing of the relaunched political ship. The fallout of our association in the War On Terror and the economic squeeze of the current inflationary spiral have created an unprecedented crisis in the country. Besides, various political parties had vowed not to revert to an attitude of confrontation and to devote their full energies towards establishing democratic traditions in the country in a manner that would exclude the possibility of another military ruler stepping in. The need of the hour is for the major political parties to develop a consensus on the main issues confronting the country and work in unison to get over them.