After signing the 18th Amendment Bill into law, President Asif Ali Zardari claimed that the door has been closed forever on army dictators. Is it? I dont think by mere transfer of power from the PPP Co-Chairperson to the Senior Vice Chairperson, anything has changed much. It simply wouldnt as long as the present PPP government is ruling the country. Restoring parliamentary form of government would not change the capabilities, mentalities and performance of the politicians either. Nor would the good governance be delivered automatically with this one act. What fallout the 18th Amendment would have on our polity is yet to be seen. Meanwhile, a lot of innocent lives have been lost in the bloody clash in Hazara where people are demanding a separate province on the basis of their ethnic identity. Demands would likely be raised from other parts of the country too for new provinces on the basis of culture and language as the centre weakens. A clash between the state institutions on right of governance would also likely ensue. The government is simply misleading people by claiming that the 1973 constitution has been restored in its original form. The amendments introduced by General Zia-ul-Haq which served to tarnish it are there is the constitution, after all. The parliamentary form of government is favorable to politicians. The establishment favours unity of command with strong centre and no provincial autonomy. But there is the urgent need to have a political system that does something for the mundane everyday problems of the people, provides equality of opportunity to all citizens and distributes the national wealth fairly in order to improve the standard of living of all our citizens. That can only be delivered by a new social contract between the state and people. That has to be envisioned and voted upon in a referendum. Should we now convert all districts into federating units, have a uni-cameral parliament with President and Prime Minister directly elected, and proportional representation of all political parties in the parliament? We have to think anew. Without changing basic structure of the constitution, and the country, there is no hope of attaining political stabilitynor stopping the man on horseback. -ENGR. S. T. HUSSAIN, Lahore, April 24.