THE one-on-one meeting between PPP's Senior Minister Raja Riaz Ahmed and Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif on Monday was important in the sense that both the leaders on behalf of their parties decided to bury the hatchet and develop a working relationship. The PPP representative assured the CM that his party would extend all-out support and discourage any attempt to destabilise the provincial government. Mian Shahbaz reciprocated by saying that the PML(N) would also support the PPP in the Punjab and would see to it that the grievances of the PPP ministers were removed. It appears that both the camps have finally realized that the zero-sum game going on for quite some time was in no one's benefit. This could open a new chapter of reconciliation rather than acrimony. More important, this meeting put paid to the ugly prospect of some errant elements trying to bring down the Punjab government, which had arisen because of the confrontation between Governor Salman Taseer and the PML(N). The mutual hostility in the province had reached such a level that there were reports about the PPP leadership resorting to extreme methods like asking the CM to take a vote of confidence. Another fact that should be highlighted is that it was precisely the hard feelings between the two that was allowing the PML(Q) to stage a comeback. The PML(Q) had been declared by the PPP as qatil league after the assassination of Chairperson Benazir Bhutto while the PML(N) referred to it as untouchable, but unfortunately because of their mutual rivalry there was no other way except to woo it. As ill luck would have it, the PML(Q) rather than realizing what was in the interest of the country, started to fish in the troubled waters, playing one against the other. On the one hand, the party's bigwigs kept assuring the PPP that it was ready to form an alliance with them in the province, and on the other it tried to foster its relations with the PML(N). Another thing that both parties ought to understand is that they both happen to be in the same boat. Just as the PML(N) is the largest party in the Punjab, but not the majority party, the PPP's situation at the Centre is more or less the same. Hence both players need cooperation from the other if their governments are to survive. Concurrently, there is need to abolish Article 58(2b) and resolve the judicial crisis amicably. The people of the country genuinely want their grievances removed and are little interested in seeing politicians crossing swords. Only cooperation at all levels can elevate people's lot. A better performance would also allow the government to complete its term.