There is not much praise that one can give to the PPP-led setup’s approach of putting Dr Tahirul Qadri in the forefront of the march towards  general elections. This became obvious after a meeting between Dr Qadri and a high-powered delegation led by Qamar Zaman Kaira in Lahore. An overjoyed Karia standing alongside Mr Qadri proclaimed that an agreement with him had been reached whereby assemblies would stand dissolved on March 16 – the date when the five-year tenure ends – and elections would be held within 60 days. The ruling coalition, he said, would consult the Pakistan Awami Tehreek leader over the appointment of the caretaker prime minister in return for which Mr Qadri agreed to cut down the scrutiny period to 14 days. Another front where he had to concede ground was his demand that the Election Commission of Pakistan be reconstituted.

There are at the other end major political parties, the opposition in the National Assembly and the very roadmap detailed in the constitution that guides us precisely how the entire electoral exercise is to be performed. Though there might be no harm into listening to anybody suggesting good reforms like a revamped scrutiny process, the PPP dispensation should not commit the folly of letting only a single party or an individual — much less an outsider — dictate terms, something which is a negation of the democratic process.