With the exit of Musharraf from the presidency, all kinds of rumours and speculations are rife as to who would the next the next occupant of the palace built on the bones of the poor masses? I appeal to all the political leaders to keep long-term interests of the federation in view and develop a consensus over the ticklish issue of who would be the next president after the departure of a ruthless dictator, who instead of 'true democracy', gave rise to divisive polity by pitching one province against the other, and acted more as the US viceroy in Islamabad rather than a national leader, posed a threat to national unity and integrity and mortgaged the sovereignty of the state for bagful of dollars. It is time to treat all the federating units as equals. The present popularly elected government that represents all the provinces must build a structure that is just and humane in which all citizens are equal and share the fruits of liberty and democracy that have long been denied to them by military dictators and their stooges. They must put in sincere efforts to let the smaller units feel that they are equal partners and not the fiefs of some dictatorial ruling junta. After nine-years of stagnation, the economy of the country was brought to a standstill by an imported banker premier, who served his master, filled his bags, packed his doleful baggage and left the country in a terrible mess; a shortfall of food grains, sugar, electricity and collapse of the stock-exchange where the middle-class lost billions while the big guns ruled the roost. In fact everything had come to a complete logjam while the imported financial wizard disappeared never to be seen again. It would be binding on the sovereign parliament to summon him and punish him for the sins he committed against the people of Pakistan. Since the inception of Pakistan, as many as four military operations were launched in Balochistan that had virtually estranged the populace. The worst was done by Musharraf, who blatantly murdered Nawab Bugti. Even General Ayub during his suicidal operations in Balochistan did not think of eliminating the Bugti chief, and only appointed a surrogate chief of the tribe who was not acceptable to the proud Bugtis and was murdered. As the country now moves the end of the dark dictatorial night, people are sceptical whether the present coalition government (with PML-N out) would take the country out of the prevalent mayhem. They are waiting hopefully that the new government would ameliorate the wounds that were inflicted over a long period of time on Balochistan by the former despotic rulers. However, it is important for Zardari to understand that he has to rise above personal interest for the sake of national unity and also keep in mind that he is the head of a majority party (PPP) and is the real power keg. The writer is a former inspector general of police