THOUGH it concerns the fate of the third largest parliamentary presence in the National Assembly of Pakistan, one cannot help but appreciate the humour of the situation in the upcoming internal elections of the PML(Q). There are three principle players. The first, the Chaudhrys of Gujrat, who have been running the party ever since it was formed. The second, a forward bloc of dissidents (not a monolithic group) who are disaffected by the Chaudhrys' lobby. And the third and final is retired President Pervez Musharraf whom the Gujrati leadership once pledged to elect president in uniform over and over again. As opposed to common practice, it is not the Chuadhrys that are providing the humour here. It is the forward bloc. Not too happy with the previous General Council because of a perception that the cousins from Gujrat have it cornered, they wanted a newer GC, which is the electoral college for the presidency of the party. A newer council was formed, which is again unacceptable to the dissidents. The reasons are pretty much the same. The humour stems not from the fact that their allegations are unfounded (they're not; everybody knows the GC will favour the Chaudhrys) but from what they expect of the former King's Party: democracy. Do the dissidents need to be reminded of 2002, when the machinery of the state and establishment used everything in its arsenal to ensure that the League's candidates, themselves included, win their seats? What moral higher ground are the pleading now? The humour continues. It appears that the formed President is, indeed, serious about his return to national politics. He won't have that vast network of sticks and carrots that his cohorts in the "political management" cell used to set up the Q League anymore (or does he?) but that isn't something that seems to concern him. He is reported to have requested the Chaudhrys to delay the party elections till his two-year bar expires in November. The latter have reportedly have replied that they will still go ahead with it but will cooperate with him whenever he wants to join the party as long as they don't prop the dissidents against him. There is a possibility of the former President joining the party he founded and a certainty that it will not bode well for him. But without going into the travails of the situation, it bears to note that the ruling PPP observed the anniversary of the July 5th coup yesterday. The President reiterated his party's resolve against dictatorship. If that indeed were the case, why have they limited their anger to the generalissimo of '77 and not '99? Rather than facing trial for treason and setting the country's democratic evolution back by decades, the former dictator is going around talking about joining politics and his penchant for being "an empowered President."