AT this point of time it might appear rather outlandish to imagine that the army could stage a comeback to the seat of power in Pakistan. Its track record in the four stints of the usurpation of power has been disastrous for the polity and the public is in no mood at all to stand such a situation. Yet, the warning of Mr Bruce Riedel, a US expert on South Asia, hinting at the possibility of military takeover in the eventuality of a certain scenario should give the governing leadership some food for thought and urge it to give serious attention to the people's concerns. It might be Mr Riedel's wishful thinking as the present military leadership has meticulously kept out of playing politics when he claims that the failure of the present political set-up to solve some highly debilitating problems - the deepening economic malaise and the flourishing militancy, for instance - the country is facing has the potential of creating a situation that might serve as a prelude to regenerating Bonapartist tendencies. He also cites a possible 'soft' attitude of the government to the Kashmir dispute as another factor of encouragement to the army to step in. It is incomprehensible, though, that the government has somehow not been able to come to grips with the rising cost of living, which indeed is a most fundamental problem affecting the people in all walks of life. The satisfactory handling of this problem and insecurity holds the key to political stability and calls for urgent attention. It is hoped that the Bush administration would pay heed to his other advice about putting pressure on the Afghan government to recognise the Durand Line that has been the frontier demarcated since 1893 between the two countries. Kabul's stand treating the line contentious has no legal justification and tends to keep the tension between the two alive. Mr Riedel, who has held important positions in previous administrations, has also called upon the US to pressurise the Indians to work towards a Kashmir solution acceptable to all sides, something that could bring peace to the Subcontinent.