THE formation of a 27-member constitutional reforms committee announced by Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza on Tuesday, to recommend measures to restore the Constitution to its original form of 1973, is a bit baffling. The task before the committee is to express views on the fate of the 17th Amendment, including Article 58(2b), and give a roadmap for the Charter of Democracy. The Speaker has said that if the committee fails to work out consensus recommendations, a decision would be taken on a majority vote. But in reality, the matter does not need a committee to be resolved. Indeed, there is no issue, so to speak, because from Day One there has been a consensus that the presidential powers, particularly that of dismissing an elected government, had to be curtailed. All parties across the political spectrum have been demanding that. Even a number of MPs from within the PPP and its Co-Chairman Asif Zardari had shown their commitment to the cause. One would have thought that the President would strip himself of these powers of his own accord without wasting time in forming committees, which equates with foot-dragging on part of the PPP. Today, there are no two opinions on the issue of whether the President should retain the powers or not. The status quo does not make for strengthening Parliament, which the crux of parliamentary democracy we claim to be.