The President's address before the joint session of Parliament on Saturday has generally evoked positive reactions mainly because of the announcement to lift the Governor's rule from Punjab and the pledge to put the Charter of Democracy into effect. However, the omission of a clear affirmation that he had decided to get rid of the irritating and inappropriate accretions to the Constitution in the form of the 17th Amendment and Article 58(2)(b) has given rise to reservations among the PML (N). Mian Nawaz Sharif, who stayed away from the presidential address though having been invited, has reacted by observing that political stability in the country depended on President Asif Ali Zardari relinquishing dictatorial powers. He was obviously referring to the above changes that had disfigured the parliamentary character of the polity and vested the President with, among other things, extraordinary powers to dismiss the National Assembly and provincial assemblies, irrespective of whether they commanded a majority support in the country and order fresh general elections. Calling upon the President to honour the commitment to eliminate them, the PML (N) leader said, "We have conveyed to the Prime Minister that future relations will be based on the understanding that those dictatorial powers are repealed." Other PML (N) leaders were rather cautious, with its Information Secretary Ahsan Iqbal saying, "Actions will speak louder than words," lamenting at the same time that a six-month-old statement had been repeated. The Peoples Party leaders were understandably appreciative of the address. The PML (Q), which had suddenly assumed importance during the course of political manoeuvrings the country had gone through following the disqualifications of the Sharif brothers, now finds itself relegated to a corner. It did not know how to react to the address except that Chaudhry Shujaat urged the convening of the Punjab Assembly without delay, perhaps to see that Mian Shahbaz Sharif, with disqualification order still intact, does not become Chief Minister. Jama'at-i-Islami's newly elected Amir Syed Munawwar Hasan declined to place any trust in the PPP. Since political stability largely depends upon good, or at least working, relations between the two major parties, one should hope that the committees, which will have representation from different political parties, to be constituted to examine the issue in detail would not take long to make their recommendations and the contention is amicably resolved. The critical situation the country is in demands the PPP and the PML (N) to demonstrate political maturity by narrowing the differences between them rather than letting more strains to develop. That would prove the sincerity of purpose of our political leadership.