MIAN Nawaz Sharif has asked Parliament not to approve the NRO as it would be a permanent stigma on the legislators who would be held responsible for legitimizing corruption. In fact, clearly reflecting on what happened in Parliament on the KLB Act, Sharif has called on the government not to test the parliamentarians by putting the Ordinance before the House. However, Parliament is the right place for approval or disapproval of these Ordinances and one expects the Opposition to play its proper role in holding the government accountable rather than on hiding behind the now-outlived cry of friendly opposition so as not to rock the boat. That claim has become a farce because in the process the government has gotten away with selling the country short on many counts. The most recent has been the KLB Act. Mian Sahib continues to voice his opposition to this US legislation outside of parliament, but what happened to his party inside the Parliament when the Foreign Minister was having his bizarre histrionics and bodily contortions? Whether it is the NRO, which effectively gives carte blanche to politicians on corruption, or the subjugation of Pakistan to the US through the KLB Act, what is missing is the role of a strong opposition which can hold a government accountable on behalf of the nation and an opposition that can muster enough support to halt a government from doing damage to the national interests. So far the sound and fury has come outside of the House more than inside when it comes to the crunch. Seeking shelter behind the friendly opposition argument has become counterproductive. After all, the health of a democracy is directly contingent upon a strong opposition voice which puts the government in the dock whenever it moves without a parliamentary consensus on macro national issues - especially like the KLB Act and the NRO. That the Supreme Court pushed the government into seeking parliamentary approval of the NRO is to be welcomed because it is time this nation found out exactly where its legislators stand in terms of corruption. Are we going to see corruption validated for the political elite, and that too within a specific framework, or are our elected representatives going to do us proud by ensuring that they and their leaders are not above the law in terms of corruption or any other crime? The call by Mian Nawaz Sharif not to put the NRO before the Parliament reflects little faith in the legislators because the assumption is that the NRO Ordinance will be passed by Parliament. That would be a sad day for this country because then the parliamentarians will stand totally exposed. But some would say that has already happened when the Parliament was prorogued not with a bang, but a whimper.