Let us stop making the present political confusion worse confounded by preaching the philosophy of national reconciliation. PML-N has finally decided to part ways with PPP.As a first step towards implementing the new strategy,it has decided to drop the PPP ministers from the Punjab Assembly. This amounts to the formal burial of the much trumpeted Charter of Democracy (COD), as both parties continue to blamethe other party for its demise. The PML-N Quaid MianNawaz Sharif, in his press conference on Friday, said that he tried to sustain the CODs spirit. And it was in that spirit of supreme national interest that his party joined the PPP-led government at the centre after the 2008 elections. He quoted the long list of broken promises by the PPP leadership, but notwithstanding repeated betrayals of the COD, the PML-N avoided the path of confrontation to save the system and for that it was labelled as 'friendly opposition. The fact of the matter is that the PML-N was and still is embarked on the course of a responsible opposition.However, the non-serious attitude of the federal government towards the 10-point agendahas finally resulted in the inevitable parting of the ways between the two parties. At the same time, the federal government lost no time in responding to Sharifs press conference. The Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination,MianRazaRabbani,said that Islamabad had sincerely set into motion the process of implementing the 10-point agenda, which was in fact a part of the PPP manifesto. Many points of the agenda had been implemented and action initiated to implement the rest, however, the government would restrain from making an issue of the charge sheet labelled by Sharif. Also, Rabbani announced that the PPP members of the Punjab Assembly will sit on the opposition benches and will now act as a major ombudsman for the accountability of thePunjabgovernment. But since the PPP ministers have shown no indication that they will resign, the CM has sent a summary to the Governor to remove them from the cabinet. Considering the political culture that is practised over the years, it is unlikely that the future pattern of the game about to start in Punjab and the centre shall be played according to the universally accepted democratic norms. It will be unfortunate if the future pattern reverts to the nineties when the focus had shifted from good governance to unseating the sitting governments at the centre and provinces without completing their tenures. That would mean that neither of the two major political parties has learnt any lesson from the past. Had we shown tolerance and respect for the ballet box, a strong two-party system would have taken root in Pakistan paving the way for democracy. Even now, it is not too late to give democracy a chance, which becomes a causalty whenever we fail to achieve a smooth change of government. The only silver lining, while the two parties have decided to part ways, is the public declaration that neither side will try to derail the other. This is a welcome statement made by both Nawaz Sharif and RazaRabbani at their press meetings on Friday. But as for the modalities of putting the heat on and working out the nuts and bolts of a hung Parliament, the fall of the present setup and the establishmentof an interim government to hold elections within 90 days, the thermostat is in the hands of the vibrant leader of the opposition MianNawaz Sharif. Pakistans political leadership should be prepared for the challenge of a real hard test that lies ahead for them in the coming days and months. The writer is the president of the Pakistan National Forum.