ISLAMABAD - To many it might be yet another retreat of the PPP-led government. But for Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani it was not short of his lifetime political manoeuvre. Ostensibly it was out of compulsion that he withdrew the recent price hike in the petroleum products. To a great extent it might be so because as the Chief Executive, his government was already facing the brunt of the hike both in and outside the Parliament. He chose to make the policy statement on the floor of National Assembly where he was already facing a critical challenge of proving a simple majority after the departure of two important coalition partners JUI-F and MQM. This way, he has been quite successful in releasing that pressure, at least for the time being if not for good. No surprise to the many present in the Lower House and its galleries, he had to get agenda of the august House suspended to make the policy statement. By doing so, he dismissed the perception that there was any threat to his office. Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Fahmida Mirza, while chairing the House suspended the Question Hour following a request by Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Syed Naveed Qamar, that the Prime Minister would like to make a policy statement. The Prime Minister stood up announced reversal of the oil prices hike, which was applauded by the MNAs both from treasure and opposition benches. But observers believed this act of the lawmakers had dual meaning. One faction was of the firm view that pressure of the opposition parties has forced the government to bow down, while others believe that the opposition has made it clear to the Prime Minister that he was still vulnerable and would remain handicapped until he secures the requisite support from within the House to re-establish his simple majority. Nevertheless, people close to the Prime Minister especially the PPP MNAs seemed quite contended on his efforts to repulse the oppositions pressure. All the parliamentary parties have welcomed the Prime Ministers statement in their speeches. Starting from the Opposition Leader Ch. Nisar Ali Khan to Maulana Attaur Rehman to tail end, Asfandyar Wali Khan to Riaz Pirzada and Haider Abbas Rizvi, all of them appreciated the Prime Ministers move, which he confidently cashed in on by dismissing the perception that he no more enjoys confidence of the House on one hand and his ability to tackle such situation democratically. Some were of the view that all those who praised the Prime Minister were very well aware of the PPP style of governance that it always goes with the aspirations of opposition. Every one knows the manner PPP has been backing out from its own decisions in the past. No matter it was the governors rule in the Punjab province or it was the restoration of judges, the Prime Minister on one hand and his ruling PPP on the other had eaten their words on several such occasions. One has to acknowledge the fact that it is the PPP that has evolved such a sound consensus-building mechanism for political survival during its current stint in power that helps it in steering from serious crises. Despite best known to its bad governance, it has made the standing committees of the parliament a viable mechanism to wriggle critical situations as such the one witnessed today. Instead of withdrawing the price hike relating to petroleum products through a routine government notification, the Prime Minister first took heads of all the parliamentary parties on board before making his policy statement on the floor of the House. The PPP government might have felt at ease in averting the political crisis, it still appear directionless in handling the crucial economic issues.