The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, at the present moment, stands at such a crucial crossroad which is, both baffling as well as bewildering. The leadership and opposition parties responsible for providing good governance to 170 million citizens seem to be totally oblivious to the grave consequences of their current role, in their day-to-day developments in the multifarious affairs of the state. The future hangs precariously in the hands of the two mainstream political parties - PPP and PML-N. With due respect to the Parliament including the judiciary, whose independence has been recently restored and the armed forces whose image has also been highly applauded for their prompt restoration of the writ of the State in certain troubled area along our border, it goes without saying that President Zardari and PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif are placed in a position where they mutually hold the key to the ultimate democratic future of Pakistan. However, there is a lurking fear that in spite of the repeated public declarations by both parties that they respect each others mandate, genuinely wish for the peaceful completion of the five year tenure with mutual cooperation, firmly believe in and are committed to the CoD; the conduct of either party with regard to policy statements issued almost daily, convey an unmistakable impression of conflict in the approach of the two leaders. This approach towards both domestic and foreign policy issues, conveys an immediate change in the policies pursued by the present government, in the larger national interest. This message of change, to be brought out peacefully and constitutionally, implies a holding of midterm polls by the end of 2009. If delayed, is may result into street agitation, long marches and consequent violence. To avoid this ugly situation, midterm polls are suggested to be a wiser course. The PPP government on the other hand have declared such a course 'out of question' particularly when the PML-N has requested the Election Commission to postponed the by-elections in certain NA constituencies where the PML-N Quaid, is likely to contest. The commission has accepted PML-N's request. The conclusion is that the law and order situation does not allow the holding of midterm polls till the situation changes for the better. Meanwhile the federal government is proceeding with its roadmap to follow its chartered course with the War on Terror. The militant threat brought the War within 60 miles of Islamabad, blowing up five star hotels, army and police posts in major urban areas. Voices have been raised in support of negotiations with Mehsud and Maulvi Fazlullah. But according to the government and the army it is too late. The battle lines have been drawn and there shall be no compromise with the militants at this stage. It would therefore be a wise course to press on with the present course of defiance. Moreover the shahadat of Dr Naeemi has proved a turning point against the Taliban which must be carried to its logical consequences of re-establishing the writ of the State. Unfortunately, certain quarters in Pakistan take the Taliban as our own 'Muslim brothers, gone astray' and therefore a ceasefire is recommended without any grantee of honouring the same by the militants. The government is of the view that the plea for a ceasefire is only a ruse to gain time. Anyway the point is that while in a state of war, the rank and file of various mainstream political parties, unfortunately, continue to follow conflicting tracks. Whereas Zardari is consolidating the position of the government at the international level, the internal divisions, even with regard to the basic policies in the social sector of the present budget, like slicing down the education sector allocation and the agriculture sector continuing to retain exemption from income tax, has not brought any relief to the common man under the circumstances. A 'united' approach on the foreign policy front whether in respect of India or other major countries provide little hope for progress on the roadmap towards our chariest democratic goals as per the vision of Iqbal and Jinnah. The writer is the president of the Pakistan National Forum