ISLAMABAD/LAHORE Amidst the toughest of times facing the PPP since the start of its term, President Asif Ali Zardari will address joint sitting of the Parliament Tuesday (today) to mark the beginning of the new parliamentary year. The PPPs political relationship with the opposition and coalition partners in the Centre and two provinces (Sindh and Punjab) is at best murkier, raising the possibility of a joint or partial protest on the floor of the House. In view of enormity of such embarrassment, Prime Minister Gilani spent a hectic day Monday, meeting the coalition partners and calling up opposition leaders in a bid to secure smooth sailing for the Presidents address. A report, however, said PML-Q chief Ch Shujaat Hussain didnt take the phone call from the PM, indicating the chances of the PML-Q protest were greater. On the other hand, the PML-N is playing its cards closet to its chest, as it has done in the past. Senior PML-N leader Senator Zafar Ali Shah said the party has not yet decided whether to protest or not during the presidential address. He said that a party meeting has been called for 3pm Tuesday to make a final decision. The government is also in constant touch with Maulana Fazlur Rehman of the JUI-F to persuade him to attend the session and ensure a smooth sailing. The Prime Minster also contacted NA Opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. The Maulana refused to assure the Prime Minister that he or his party would not become part of any agitation by the opposition. In his meeting with coalition leaders, Prime Minister Gilani said it is rightly a moment of pride for the democratic forces of the country as the fourth parliamentary year would start with the address of the President of Pakistan to the joint sitting of the Parliament. It is a manifestation of the fact that democratic norms are gaining strength in the country. It was most unfortunate, he added, that during the previous regime in almost nine years the President did not address the Parliament despite it being a constitutional requirement. The meeting of parliamentary leaders of the coalition parties both from the Senate and the National Assembly was held at the Prime Ministers House. Those who attended the meeting included Minister for Commerce Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Minister Food and Agriculture Senator Israr Ullah Zehri (BNP-A), Leader of House in Senate Senator Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari, Senator Shahid Hussain Bugti (JWP), Senator Haji Muhammad Adeel (ANP), Engineer Malik Rashid Ahmed Khan (FATA) and MNAs Asfandyar Wali Khan(ANP), Dr Farooq Sattar (MQM), Jahangir Khan Tareen (PML-F), Sajid Hussain Turi (FATA) and Yaqoob Bizanjo (BNP). Earlier reports indicated that the PML-Q has assured the government it would not create unruly scenes in the Parliament, but it would protest. The PM said that before meeting the coalition leadership, he sought impressions about the Presidents address from the Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, the Governor Sindh, Dr Ishratul Ibad, JUI chief Maula Fazalur Rehman, Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif and Deputy Chairman Senate Mir Jan Muhammad Jamali. The Prime Minister said the government would continue with its policy of reconciliation. In a surprising development, the PML-Q leadership that decided the other day to boycott the joint session, has announced walkout instead. The earlier announcement of boycott had taken the political circles by surprise, but some in the political circles believe the new development maybe a result of new understanding between the PML-Q and the PPP leaderships overnight. When contacted, Kamil Ali Agha, Central Secretary Information PML-Q, rejected the earlier media reports of boycott, saying the PML-Q never made such announcement. However, PML-Q spokesman said the partys media cell made the blunder by issuing a press statement regarding a decision of partys high command in which they mistakenly wrote 'walkout as 'boycott. Asked if the PPP members contacted the PML-Q after the walkout, would they re-join the session, the PML-Q spokesman refused to offer a direct comment, but said they would take all decisions keeping in view parliamentary norms and principles. This will be the fourth address of President Zardari, a record in the chequered parliamentary history of the country. The President in his address would recount the achievements of the government in the outgoing parliamentary year and give a rodmap for the new year. All arrangements for the address of the President are complete. Invitations have been issued to Provincial Governors, Chief Ministers, Services Chiefs, President and Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir and foreign diplomats. Political observers say the President would particularly highlight the amendments made in the constitution during the year, as he had asked the Parliament in his previous address to restore the original 1973 Constitution. They however said that while his previous three addresses to the joint sitting were smooth, this time the situation would be different and he faces a boycott by some opposition parties and shouts from others. On the other hand, strict security arrangements have been made for the event. There would be no passes for the visitors and members have been advised not to bring their guests along on Tuesday. In addition, a shuttle service would be run between Parliamentary lodges and the Parliament House to take the members to the joint sitting. Spokesman for the President, Farhatullah Babar said the President in his address would announce future strategy and programmes for the country. He said it was the right of the opposition to protest during the address of the President but this protest should remain within democratic norms. He hoped that the opposition would follow the parliamentary traditions during the joint session.