In his latest response to Mian Nawaz Sharifs letter, President Asif Zardari has called on the PML-N to nominate its representatives to 'jointly take difficult decisions required to take our country forward. The letter had been sent to the President on November 10. The delayed response reflects the effort that has gone into it, though the PML-N got the opportunity of accusing the presidency of 'media diplomacy because the contents of the letter were splashed on some TV channels even before it was received by Mian Nawaz. While there may be some validity in this, the accusation being made reflects the partys dissatisfaction with the reply. The PML-N feels that its leader made concrete suggestions to end corruption, to which there was no satisfactory response. The President should realize that the corruption issue is not a core conviction of the PML-N or its leader, but something which the people resent and which has been adopted for that reason. It is not something which the PML-N will abandon until the public demand goes away, a demand which has arisen because of the conduct of the President and the government. Instead, the President asked Mian Nawaz for cooperation in two economic measures, the RGST and the restructuring of economic enterprises. While the RGST has gone through the Senate, it still awaits passage by the National Assembly. While the PML-N, recognizing that its levy would cause an inflationary spiral, is opposed to it, the government is so deeply committed to it by its promises to the IMF that it has used the opportunity represented by Mian Nawazs original letter to ask for help on this. The President also asked for the PML-N to help with the restructuring of loss-making state enterprises, including the power distribution companies about which the President made special reference. The restructuring is intended as a preliminary to privatisation. Whereas the PPP, when it first assumed power in the 1970s, carried out nationalization, but is now trying to win favour with the international financial institutions by privatising. The letter sent by Mian Nawaz implied an opportunity, but in the reply the President sent, it seems that the spirit of furthering the national interest was not considered. The President seemed to reply more as the head of a political party, than of the entire state, which he is. The reply also showed the need for the country to break out of the shackles of the international lending agencies, and eschew the anti-national policies they impose, whether inflationary taxes, or over-hasty privatisations.