The PML(Q) staged a brief walkout at the parliamentary joint session to hear the Presidential address on Saturday, and party President Ch Shujaat Hussain said that the walkout, which soon ended on an appeal by the Treasury, was meant to protest the horsetrading in the Punjab, which he claimed was the main reason for the inability of his party to help the PPP form the government there. There are reasons to describe this as a bit rich, coming from not just the President, but any source in the PML(Q), the foremost of course being the conduct of the party's National Assembly Leader, Ch Parvez Elahi, as Punjab CM. He made sure that the PML(N) MPAs crossed the floor, and used all the state machinery at his disposal to persuade them. The walkout was the first experienced by President Zardari, even though the PPP itself had spearheaded protests in the past during the presidential address. Therefore, the PML(Q) action might be seen as an example of a parliamentary tradition, and their rejoining of the House to listen to the speech attentively was less disruptive of proceedings than the PPP's raising of 'go' slogans. The tradition continued under Musharraf, who addressed Parliament only once because he could not tolerate the protests that his presence created. But the PML(Q) also had reason to protest. Even before the speech, its leaders probably learnt that the lifting of Governor's rule in the Punjab was to be announced, and thus the end of any hopes of a PPP-PML(Q) government. The PML(N) was to have as its partner not the PML(Q), but its Forward Bloc. This Forward Bloc may have grown large enough to take over the PML(Q) in the province which is supposed to be its bastion. The PML(Q) was primarily meant as a political platform for Pervez Musharraf, and it used the temptations of office to attract politicians. What is perhaps presently happening is the disintegration of the PML(Q), but exercising the democratic rights of a party, including walking out of the presidential address, does not keep a party together.