WITH the passage of a unanimous resolution on terrorism, the stage has been set for the customary debate on President Asif Ali Zardari's address to Parliament. The address had dealt with some of the most vital issues facing the country. The President had spelled out how the ruling coalition viewed important matters related to federalism, the economy, foreign policy, terrorism, constitutional amendments and the judiciary. Among other things he had recommended a change in the nomenclature of NWFP. The issues contained in the address need to be debated threadbare in the Senate and National Assembly. One of these issues pertained to the distortions in the 1973 Constitution which were made, according to him, by successive dictators to prolong their rule. However, instead of right away calling for the repeal of the 17th Amendment and Article 58(2b), as many had expected, he had called on Parliament to form an all-party committee to revisit the notorious provisions. There is a perception that the President has assumed centrestage, which under the parliamentary system is occupied by the PM. Mr Zardari not only retains all the powers wielded by former President Musharraf, minus those accruing to him as COAS, but has also chosen to continue to hold the office of the Co-chairman of his party. Besides striking down the 17th amendment and Article 58(2b), there is a need to restore the 1973 Constitution in its original form as promised in the Charter of Democracy. The government should recommend at the earliest the names of the members of the proposed committee to Parliament so that the much needed amendments are enacted. There being a widespread consensus on the issue, the government need not wait till March when elections to the Senate are expected to provide a majority to the PPP in the Upper House. Keeping in view the commitment being shown by the opposition to help evolve consensus on vital national issues, the repeal of the two undesirable constitutional provisions should not be difficult. President Zardari had promised in his address to resolve the matters concerning judiciary in accordance with the Constitution and law. It is time Parliament intervenes to undo the injustice to the judges whose fate continues to hang in the balance including deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry by urgently restoring them. Referring to Balochistan, the President had promised to move quickly to "heal the wounds of the past and restore the trust in the federation." Parliament needs to be told what has restrained the administration from moving in this direction, despite several promises of the type made since takeover. It is also time the lawmakers undertake the long overdue exercise of widening the scope of provincial autonomy to strengthen the federation.