The PML(N) National Assembly and Senate parties are planning to mount an offensive against the PPP-led government, going to the extent of seeking approval from party chief Nawaz Sharif for the plan, which is being prepared by Leader of the Opposition Ch Nisar Ali Khan, and which will include surprises for the government. The PML(N) is getting ready to do battle because Mian Nawaz, whose candidature for the National Assembly having been cleared by the Supreme Court, is contesting a by-election in NA 123, the Lahore seat he had contested since 1985. The PPP, which had originally not put up a candidate, giving Mian Nawaz a bye as a coalition party leader, is threatening to do so now. However, this is not the sole grievance that the PML(N) has against the PPP. The differences started with the judges, whom the PML(N) wanted restored, and the PPP did not, with the PML(N) quitting the Cabinet over the issue. The judges were restored, and the PPP remained in the Punjab government, which the PPP was unable to topple, but issues did not disappear. A look at the issues which Ch Nisar and the PML(N) parliamentary party plan to raise would indicate what still separates the two parties. The first issue has been hanging fire ever since the election of Asif Zardari as President: the presidential powers under the Constitution's Article 58(2b), restored to the Constitution by Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf under the 17th Amendment. Though President Zardari has pledged to abolish not just Article 58(2b) but the whole 17th Amendment, there has not been enough progress on the matter to allay PML(N) suspicions that President Zardari is deliberately dragging his feet on this. This suspicion has been increased by the President's statement on Musharraf's trial for high treason, a path opened by the Supreme Court in a recent, post-restoration, decision. Though the Presidency has issued a denial, the President is supposed to have said that Musharraf left the Presidency under foreign guarantees. The PML(N) intends to raise the issue in Parliament through raising that of the statement. For PML(N), the trial is a core issue, particularly as Musharraf had removed a PML(N) government at both centre and in the provinces. The PPP reluctance to share the PML(N) agenda shows a lack of understanding of the dynamics of a coalition, which the present government set out to be. Formed because one party could not tackle the many problems facing the country, the coalition, even such a loose one as at present, does not mean that one party can ignore the demands of another, particularly when it is the second largest.