Mir Zafrullah Khan Jamali has recently met Mian Nawaz Sharif in an effort to persuade the latter to get his party, the PML-N, to join the Mutahida Muslim League. The Muslim League has nearly exhausted the letters of the alphabet. Thus, in alphabetical order, there is the Awami Muslim League of Sheikh Rashid, the All-Pakistan Muslim League of General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, a bygone Convention Muslim League of Ayub Khan, a Council Muslim League that could claim to be the original party consisting of its central councillors in 1958, the Functional Muslim League of Pir Pagaro, the Junejo Muslim League, the Muslim League of the Sharifs, the Quaid-i-Azam Muslim League of the Chaudharies, the Sherpao Muslim League, and perhaps a Muslim League of Wattoo, if Im not forgetting some other Leagues. A day will soon come when double letters, like QQ, will be required to name a new party perhaps a new Muslim League. Indeed, every top politician has tried to extract the greatest benefit from the name (Muslim League) of the main party that had sincerely struggled to establish a separate homeland for the Muslims of the subcontinent. In contrast, the Pakistan Peoples Party is a monolith. That is possible in this day and age only because it is purely a gaddinashini. This is the only hereditary monarchy in the country, with both a young king and a middle-aged prince regent. Although the Chaudharies have their Mounis Ilahi and the Sharifs their Hamza Shahbaz, neither of the two youngsters is the chairperson of his party. So the monarchy confers great stability on the PPP. Anyway, in this backdrop, the present political dispensation does not augur well for the countrys future. The President has a number of cases pending against him in the court. Since he took over, he has ensured that every judgement of the apex court is thwarted, either by transferring an officer who is diligently prosecuting a wrongdoer as desired by the court, or by granting the convict a pardon within minutes of the judgement. He can do this only because the chief executive of the country, the Prime Minister, who belongs to the party he heads, has to do his bidding. So, unfortunately, Parliament is a rubber stamp precisely for this reason. But the question is, how can this be rectified? Since all the efforts to get the government to stop thwarting the courts judgements have failed miserably. As a result, there are only two appropriate and indeed democratic ways available in the circumstances: impeachment of the President or a no-confidence vote against the Prime Minister. The former is by far the more difficult, requiring two-thirds of the votes of the National Assembly. On the other hand, a no-confidence vote requires only a simple majority. However, this is only possible if the PML-N joins with the other Muslim Leagues, after which they would have a clear majority, hence the efforts of Mr Jamali with Mian Nawaz Sharif. If the President had given up any one of the offices, his present hold on Parliament through the Prime Minister would have ended and the country would have moved on. But wait a minute - even then he would have the option of calling Bilawal to preside over the party meetings and get his own decisions accepted by the other members of the party; heads he wins, tails you lose. But if the Prime Minister belongs to a different party, he will not be a puppet in the Presidents hands. Also, the 18th Amendment gives most of the powers to the PM. Thus, only if the Muslim Leagues unite, they can rid the country of the present civilian dictatorship. Certainly, various factions of the Muslim League have many differences with each other. However, they should consider whether those differences are more important, or is it necessary to get rid of the dictatorship that is preventing the courts from functioning effectively against the corrupt high-ranking official and other wrongdoers? Nevertheless, if Parliament remains hostage to the President and the courts ineffective, this will definitely cause incalculable and possibly irreversible damage to the system. In any case, a united Muslim League with the help of some other smaller parties will mean two big and strong parties, and remember democracy works best in a two-party system, especially when the opposition is a credible, potential government. So, it is really up to Mian Nawaz and the other leaders of the PML-N to decide. You pays your money and you takes your choice The writer is a former principal of the King Edward Medical College, and a former president of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Pakistan.