THE agreement at the Zardari-Shahbaz meeting held at Islamabad on Friday to refrain from making irresponsible statements seems to paper over the differences that lie at the root of the dispute between the PPP and PML(N) and could at best be called a temporary truce. The good news, unofficial though, to come out of their dinner meeting was the President's assurance to the PML(N) President that he was, indeed, serious about implementing the Charter of Democracy and needed more time to do so. However, Mian Shahbaz Sharif is justified in expressing his regrets at the PPP's failure till now to honour the promises it had made to restore the deposed judiciary and correct other constitutional distortions. At the same time, he made it clear to Mr Zardari that he would prefer to take off the mantle of chief ministership to giving up the judicial cause. Although the understanding might afford some solace that it would at least put an end to the daily public wrangling, it does not really constitute a breakthrough in the two parties' relationship. It provides only a timely relief, and for that too the politically conscious sections of society would have to keep their fingers crossed. Efforts should now be mounted to bridge the differences so that the country returns, in the shortest time possible, to democratic practices in the real sense of the expression, where the judiciary is absolutely free and the rule of law prevails. One hopes that when the President meets Mian Nawaz, as press reports indicate he has accepted the invitation extended by Mian Shahbaz to visit Raiwind, things would finally be sorted out and the curtain falls on the daily bickering between the two major parties. The multiple crises through which the country is passing demand a well considered approach to the issues and full cooperation of the various political players. And at no other time, perhaps, commitment to honesty and adherence to the basic principles of democracy were more urgently called for