BY cancelling his birthday celebrations for the death anniversary of slain Pakistan People's Party Chairperson Benazir Bhutto, PML(N) chief Mian Nawaz Sharif has displayed a sensitivity that the issue usually brings out in all mainstream political parties of the country. Almost a year ago, the world lost a great leader and Pakistan lost one of the few dynamic leaders of substance that the country has produced. What if discussions abound in all strata of society; something wistfully thought of in brief respites from the rather bleak realities that we have to confront. But is it an olive branch that the PML(N) leader extends to his former allies? It might be a stretch to believe that. Mian Nawaz has always been full of praise to the fallen leader; in fact, he beseeches the PPP to abide by the Charter of Democracy that she herself had signed. In the larger tussle between the PPP and the PML(N), this might be a mere blip. Which is sad. Considering the dire circumstances that the country faces today, we really don't need internal bickering between the two parties who, though not in a coalition, are in an arrangement of sorts. An inability, more specifically, a perceived inability to deal with issues would be bad for the state of democracy in the country. All the unfounded allegations made about how inapplicable democracy is in our polity would seem to have been vindicated. A lot rests on the current dispensation of power. The usual peabrained advocacy of praetorian rule (or some form of authoritarian rule) is doing the rounds these days, on TV talk shows, in the papers, in the chattering classes, everywhere. This needs to be weeded out by able statecraft and stable governance. This is a time for the hawks in both the parties to take a back seat so we can deal with the hawks from outside the country. Specifically on our eastern borders.