THE Prime Minister has done well to withdraw the so-called carbon surcharge on CNG. To begin with, the term is a misnomer as CNG has the lowest percentage of carbon compared to other fuels used by motorists and it would be a bad policy to do anything that might discourage them from changing over to CNG. There is a perception that the decision was taken to counter the financial fallout of the Supreme Court verdict that directed the government to reduce the petroleum prices. While taxes are unavoidable, it is equally important to reduce the government expenditure, which continues to increase on account of political exigencies and to maintain for government leaders a lavish style of living considered impermissible even in some of the developed countries. In Pakistan, where political rivalries tend to transform into personal enmity, politicians have to learn the difference between criticism of policies and personal attacks. The National Assembly proceedings on Thursday were marred by uncalled-for remarks against President Zardari and Mian Nawaz Sharif which had to be expunged by the Speaker. Despite professions of goodwill by the leaders of the PPP and PML(N) for one another, a lot of bitterness has of late accumulated under the otherwise placid surface. First, the Advocate General Sindh put before the Supreme Court, without any solicitation, Mian Nawaz Sharif's pardon papers and insisted that these be made a part of the record, for which he was duly reprimanded by the court. This elicited a strong reaction from the PML(N), which called it a political move aimed at maligning the party's top leadership. Only days after, the Sindh Advocate General defended in the Supreme Court the verdict against Mian Nawaz in the plane hijacking case. While the PPP leaders maintained that the government did not direct the chief law officers of the Sindh Government to do so, it is difficult to believe that they could have taken the stand without a nod from above. The exchange of unseemly remarks was obviously motivated by what happened at the Supreme Court. MNA Fauzia Wahab went to the extreme of maintaining that a powerful Prime Minister was not desirable. The PPP which has the major stake in power, has to be extra careful while dealing with both allies and the opposition. As things stand, there are enough rifts among the members of the ruling coalition. While the government is committed to taking the War On Terror to its logical end, the JUI(F) openly opposes it. In Sindh, the ANP and the MQM continue to be at loggerheads and on Thursday the latter staged a walk-out from the National Assembly in protest against the blackout in Karachi. It has also threatened to withdraw support from the Budget if the power subsidy is withdrawn. There is a need on the part of all political parties to avoid personal attacks. The PPP and PML(N) must also avoid going back on the promises made in the Charter of Democracy.