PRIME Minister Gilani has rightly maintained that the present political system is neither presidential nor parliamentary and therefore there is a need to reform it. What disturbs many, however, is the slow pace of moves made by the government towards the desired goal, particularly when the issue had been settled by the PPPP and PML(N) in the jointly signed Charter of Democracy. The delay in introducing the needed constitutional amendments has led many to doubt the government's intentions. Statements by certain PPP officials have added to the misunderstandings. It took the government almost a year to appoint a parliamentary committee to finalise the required constitutional changes. Months after parties nominated members to the committee, little progress has been witnessed, which strengthens the apprehension that the ongoing exercise could in fact be a dilatory tactic. Among the major anomalies in the Constitution is the power invested in the President as a result of the amendments introduced by military rulers Ziaul Haq and Musharraf. Both Article 58(2b) and the 17th Amendment have turned the head of state into a central figure in the system in violation of the parliamentary form of government wherein the Prime Minister, being the Chief Executive, enjoys that position. What is more, the amendments have invested an indirectly elected President with extraordinary powers. Besides powers to send home the elected government and the assemblies which elected him President, the President is not bound, as he was under 1973 Constitution as it existed prior to Musharraf's coup, by the advice of the Prime Minister in the appointment of services chiefs, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, judges of High Courts, and the CEC. Allowing the President to use these powers in his own discretion amounts to creating rival centres of power, which is likely to remain a cause of tension between the PM and the President. What worries many are statements by PPP Information Secretary Fauzia Wahab, appointed by President Zardari, who continues to untiringly lobby against making the President powerless and suggesting a balance of power between the two offices, unheard of in parliamentary democracies. Prime Minister Gilani still enjoys enough credibility. To maintain it, he should move fast to introduce amendments which empower Parliament, make the PM a real Chief Executive and turn the President into a figurehead as agreed between the PPP and PML(N) in the Charter of Democracy. With an independent judiciary and a powerful media, what is needed is a strong Parliament. Balance of power is required between institutions rather than individuals. However, mere scrapping of the 17th Amendment cannot empower the Parliament unless our parliamentarians take more proactive interest in the proceedings rather than the perks and the privileges which come with the job.