WHILE the President's declaration recommending the lifting of the Governor's rule from Punjab is greatly welcome, the all round expectations that he would make a definite and unambiguous announcement with regard to the removal of certain constitutional distortions that the previous military rulers had made have remained unfulfilled. That has caused widespread frustration. The end of the Governor's rule, he told the joint session of Parliament during his second annual address before it on Saturday, would be followed by an invitation to the PML(N) to nominate a candidate of its choice as Chief Minister. The PPP would sit in the opposition and offer full support to the provincial government in all legitimate matters. Sounds like the right stuff of reconciliation with the PML(N) with which the PPP's relations have gradually soured after the both had started off well in a spirit of joint enterprise to strengthen the roots of democracy. But there seems to be a catch The court decision on the disqualification of the Sharif brothers, if unusually delayed or the existing verdict is not reversed, would not make it possible for Mian Shahbaz Sharif to stage a comeback as Chief Minister. The logic of his statement that the country was faced with many challenges from outside as well as inside and it did need another one to complicate the situation stipulated a more generous approach to the Sharifs, assuring them that should the court not reverse the decision, parliamentary intervention would settle the matter to their satisfaction. The President also caused widespread dismay among the eager audience by passing the buck on to committees to suggest constitutional amendments with particular reference to the 17th Amendment and Article 58(2)(b). Committees, it is generally believed here, are constituted to shelve matters indefinitely. Therefore, his direction that they should finalise their recommendations 'without delay' would not help change that perception. The reiteration of the commitment to implement the Charter of Democracy is reassuring but the people expect that he should walk the talk. The address touched on a host of other issues as well, mostly internal, recounting the government's plans and achievements in implementing projects of public interest. Fro instance, he promised to grant autonomy to Balochistan. One hopes similar criterion would be applied to other provinces also. One wonders, however, how he could claim to protect sovereignty in the face of unending drone attacks by the US. He has welcomed the US assistance of $1.5 billion a year. It is extremely necessary that the amount is properly spent on improving the socio-economic lot of the people of areas where militancy is rife, even though it is a small amount in the face of the daunting challenge.