MIAN Nawaz Sharif, currently in London, has talked of the political imperatives of post-Supreme Court verdict of July 31, which in his opinion would put the country on a solid footing to pave the way for democracy to flourish. He was addressing the local chapter of PML(N) and later speaking to the media on Tuesday. The PML(N) leader did not mince his words about the NRO, the ordinance that poses the biggest challenge to the leadership of the ruling set-up, and advocated that Parliament could not afford to pass it into law; his party had opposed it tooth and nail all along and would continue to do so in the future. Fairness demands that the various political forces in the country should get the sense of the people on the different ordinances that the court order has enjoined upon Parliament to make them into law or let them lapse and act accordingly. That would most likely obviate the possibility of anyone challenging these acts of Parliament before the court as violative of the Constitution. But, then, there are other issues like 17th Amendment about which there is no difference of opinion on the face it. This constitutional deviation from the system of parliamentary democracy should have long been set aside, but somehow the PPP has continued to dither and put off the matter on one pretext or the other. While on principle one would not disagree with the PML(N) leader that there should be an across-the-board accountability, in practice it would prove to be quite a hard task. If those who had collaborated with Pervez Musharraf were to be brought to book, it would amount to opening a Pandora's box. No doubt, there should be no leniency in dealing with the principal actors who deserve to be punished in accordance with law for violating clear provisions of the Constitution. However, for preventing any future Bonapartist from derailing democracy, political parties would have to put their act together; a mere court order would not do. The Supreme Court has only shown the way. It is a good idea, though, to say that the army should "give a pledge to the nation that it would never ever violate the Constitution or declare martial law". But it is the political parties that have to ensure that a situation, which could tempt a power-hungry General to interrupt the democratic process, does not arise. They can effectively deter any such usurper if they were to respect the people's mandate and work for solving their problems with a sense of commitment.