ONE can't help but laugh to hear from PML(Q) President Ch Shujaat Hussain that politicians should refrain from indulging in horsetrading, that he describes as a blemish on democracy. Perhaps he wants to make people forget how strongly his cousin Ch Pervaiz Elahi relied on this practice during his stint as Punjab Chief Minister, when political opponents were coerced into switching over to the government. The problem with the Chaudhrys of Gujrat is that, after being politically marginalized, they are trying everything to get back to power. In a media interaction in Islamabad the other day, Ch Shujaat announced establishing direct contact with the PML(N). But at the same time, the PML(Q) leadership is busy hobnobbing with the PPP in an attempt to get some share in power, both at the Centre and in Punjab to prevent more defections from the party. The Chaudhrys probably fears losing more people to the Forward Bloc that keeps consolidating its strength with the chances that it may have more members in its fold than the actual party. It's time the Chaudhrys stopped fishing in troubled waters and focused on retaining their separate entity by sitting on the opposition benches, instead of making strange proposals like the formation of a three-party government in the Punjab to save democracy.