THE promise by Ch Nisar Ali Khan to introduce a resolution in the National Assembly demanding Gen (retd) Musharraf's trial is presumably not going to be fulfilled. Speaking at a Pakistan Day function at Aiwan-e-Karkunan-e-Tehrik-e-Pakistan, his party chief Mian Nawaz Sharif rightly pointed out that there was no need for a parliamentary resolution to try the former dictator. While reminding the government of its duty to prosecute the former dictator, Mian Nawaz's tone was less strident this time, as he seems to have realized the major hitch in the way of trial. This has led him to appeal to the military to sever ties with General Musharraf, not prevent his trial, and instead file a lawsuit against him. Notwithstanding the difficulties in the way of initiating the trial, the logic behind the demand is unassailable. If a common man is punished for even minor traffic violations, why spare a person who put in abeyance the country's Constitution and indulged in a number of adventures that hurt Pakistan? The argument that Musharraf has already been punished by being ousted from power and forced to live abroad is untenable. If coupsters are to be forgiven, there is no need to retain Article 6 in the Constitution. What is more, any failure to punish him is likely to encourage any potential adventurer who might desire to overthrow an elected government. Mian Nawaz, therefore, is not off the mark when he says that making an example of Musharraf is needed to block the way of Martial Law. Musharraf himself meanwhile remains undeterred from the resolve to return to fish in the muddied waters of Pakistan's politics. Talking to a private channel on August 14, he again tendered unsolicited advice to the government on how it should deal with the problems it faces, while in another statement he reiterated the determination to return to the country soon. The PML(N) is reportedly considering a move to launch a public campaign to pressure the government to try the former military ruler. While the party leadership pursues the course chosen by it, what it needs is to simultaneously interact with the government to strike down the 17th Amendment and Article 58(2b). Prime Minister Gilani has again opposed the two provisions, as according to him these must go if democracy is to flourish. He has also promised to restore the Constitution in line with the recommendations contained in the Charter of Democracy. There is a dire need for the two mainstream parties to cooperate to strengthen the institutions, which is a vital prerequisite to save civilian governments from the onslaught of military adventurers.