Now that the respective committees of the PPP and the PML(N) have got to work on the latters 10-point agenda, it has become evident that the latters acceptance of the formers agenda was merely a ploy meant to gain its support at a time when the exit of allies had meant that it had lost its majority in Parliament. The MQM had resumed support, but the PML(N)s agenda had been accepted at that point, and the continuation of its support meant that the PPP majority did not depend on the MQM. Even the PPP probably did not expect the PML(N) to be as complaisant as it was in the whittling away of the points it had proposed, as in the very first meeting the PPP made the points about the implementation of court verdicts and the ending of corruption a second priority, thus saving President Asif Zardari from the courts. Though the PPP has apparently taken on the role of preserving the President, who has retained the role so far, of party co-Chairman, from the consequences of the court cases against him, there seems no reason why the PML(N) should join in, especially when it supported the judiciary which the PPP is now maligning so strongly during the lawyers movement for its restoration. That the sugar price is to be placed before a committee whose heads selection itself has not taken place and is thus a possible cause of delay, indicates that the joint committee plans to do nothing on even those issues which directly affect the ordinary citizen. Though the committee is supposed to be headed by a retired superior court judge, the fate of previous such committees appointed by the Supreme Court shows that this committee is unlikely to achieve much. The PML(N) may well be relying on the governments reversal of the fuel price hike, but the powerful sugar lobby will be unlikely to lower prices and will continue the profiteering it has practiced before. Though the PML(N) is actually negotiating from a position of strength, it is actually behaving as if it is weak. It should not have been so eager to give up on the corruption and courts issues, because they represent the main plank of the issue which so deeply exercises the partys voters, because it means the blocking of a traditional avenue by which the nations wealth is looted, not because any individual is targeted. The negotiators should realise that the purpose of the PPP team is not to implement the agenda, but to contain it, and to preserve from damage not just the President, but also his cronies. If that means covering up corruption, or ignoring court verdicts, then that will be done.