PRESIDENT Asif Zardari has completed four days of his visit to the provincial metropolis, but his visit has not yet ended. However, he has already shown that a country can continue to run with its president out of the federal capital, even though he has still to begin his tour of the province. While in Lahore, he has addressed delegations, received foreign visitors, and presumably monitored developments, both foreign and domestic, that have a bearing on the national future. However, the President may have realised by now that his position as President is in conflict with his position as head of one of the country's two largest political parties. This is not because he can claim residence at the Governor's House, whose occupant is not just his appointee, but prescribed the duties of a host during presidential visits; nor even because the War on Terror has created new demands; but because he is supposed to be the foremost representative of the Federation, indeed its symbol, and should be open to all shades of politics, not just to those belonging to one party. However, the co-chairman of a party is expected to give ear to members of the party whenever he moves into the nation outside his capital. Yet President Zardari has not yet embarked upon the much-touted tour of the province, which he will undertake for the first time. And for his partymen, his visit to the provincial capital will be most memorable for the mistreatment of party workers outside Governor's House, where the President holed up, rather than for anything else. That mistreatment was another problem caused by the President combining the roles as head of state and head of a party. The partymen had come to see their Co-Chairman, not the President, but were exposed to the security surrounding the latter. Another risk that materialised was the absence of the Chief Minister, or of any other minister, because the PML(N) would naturally not give an escort to the PPP Co-Chairman. The above are practical difficulties, which do not take account of any of the improprieties inherent in the President, and not the Prime Minister, devoting his time, and this at the taxpayer's expense, to purely party affairs, not national. The problem can easily be solved, by President Zardari letting the Supreme Court's NRO verdict take its course, and leaving office. If he were to do so, not only would he be following the traditions of democratic countries the world over, but he would also resolve the dilemma in which he places both party and Presidency by continuing to head both.