SOON after the election of President Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani had promised that with Gen (retd) Musharraf no more in the driving seat, the coalition government's performance would improve radically and it would start delivering on its promises. To make this possible, the government has to urgently determine its priorities. It is now for President Zardari to ensure that the federal parliamentary system with the Prime Minister enjoying central position is restored in letter and spirit. For this he has to initiate measures to repeal the 17th Amendment. Unless this is done, the system will retain the distortions introduced by General Musharraf, which have turned the President into the most powerful man and led to the weakening of Parliament and the office of the Prime Minister. The February elections had led to a split mandate which requires that policies are formulated on the basis of consensus rather than the thinking of any one party or individual. The forum best suited to evolve consensus is Parliament. It is highly dangerous to rely on the wisdom of any individual when the country is coping with rising militancy combined with violation of the country' geographical integrity, faces serious foreign policy challenges and an economy in  bad shape. The Prime Minister needs to complete the Cabinet, which has worked on nearly half strength for about five months on account of unresolved coalition issues. Pakistan has been turned into a front line state in the War On Terror, while it has yet to evolve a national policy on militancy. For this the government has to consult all the stakeholders inside and outside Parliament, take all political parties into confidence and allow Parliament to evolve guidelines to be followed by concerned organs of the state, both civil and military. Instead of making tall claims about an early resolution of the Kashmir issue, the fundamentals of a national policy on Kashmir should be thrashed out in the same way. The statement by President Hamid Karzai backing US plans to launch attacks inside FATA two days after a joint press conference with President Zardari should make the later realize the limitations of personal diplomacy. While it is praiseworthy that he is proceeding to London on a normal flight, there is little chance of his being able to convert Prime Minister Brown, who already shares Mr Karzai's views on US attacks inside Pakistan's tribal areas. Talks of the sort are liable to create misunderstandings. What is more, with an overactive President, the message is bound to be conveyed that those in power in fact favour a presidential system. The lack of harmony in the two mainstream parties has created political uncertainty, which is harming the economy. Nothing should be done that can add to the existing polarization.