For a while, it seemed that the countrys political cauldron would soon reach a boiling point, but, though contacts between leaders of different parties continue with an air of political crisis, the expectation of change in the federal government has virtually faded. With the departure of JUI-F from the ruling coalition, and the adamant, though unexpected, refusal of its head Maulana Fazlur Rehman to return to the fold, the prospects of change suddenly began to appear bright. And all those, who had for long been predicting that the present coalition would crumble under the weight of corruption and mismanagement, thought that the JUI-Fs exit would prove the last straw. Besides, in the backdrop of the MQM having been cheesed off with the PPP about the accusatory remarks of Sindh Home Minister Zulfiqar Mirza, implicating the party in target killings at Karachi, there seemed to be a real likelihood of the ouster of the present government. But, as MQM watchers had insisted that it was the partys compulsion to stay in the ruling set-up and, thus, had foreseen, its anger waned with the vague assurance of President Zardari that he would take action to remove its grouse. Interestingly, the demand for Mirzas removal from the cabinet has now fizzled out, while the Sindh Home Minister publicly stood his ground about his charge of MQMs involvement, only a day before MQM leader Farooq Sattar met the President. Sindh National Front leader Mumtaz Bhutto called on Mian Nawaz Sharif at Raiwind on Monday and endorsed his call for a Charter of Pakistan, saying that the country needed a new social contract. Mr Bhutto claimed that he obtained Mian Nawazs consent to form an anti-PPP alliance in Sindh on the ground that such an alliance was the only way to pull the country out of the quagmire of corruption in which it had fallen. On the other hand, PML-N Senator Pervaiz Rashid denied that the two leaders talked about an anti-government agenda. They expressed their dissatisfaction at the prevailing situation in the country. Mian Nawaz lamented that while his party had extended its cooperation to the PPP as far as possible, it did nothing for the people. Strangely though, Senator Rashid elaborated Mian Sahibs complaint, saying that by any reference to change the PML-N did not mean change in the ruling political set-up; it was only a change in the system of governance PML-N wanted. One would have thought that by now the unending shenanigans of the PPP-led government would have convinced Mian Nawaz that it had no intention of changing ways, and that it was time he gave up, in practice, the course of a friendly opposition and played the role of a real, strong opposition. Otherwise, the electorate upon whom he is banking to return to power would feel disillusioned.