The opposition is trying to keep it together after rumours of differences in some of the more prominent parties that make up the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), but the main takeaway as far as anybody else particularly the government is concerned is that they are still firmly united on the number-one agenda of the movement; that is the resignation of the prime minister. That much is simple enough to understand. But the attitude of the government is becoming a bigger concern with every passing day. First, when they decided to show some flexibility they added a condition that they knew would never be accepted and said any negotiations would be carried out in parliament, which of course rules out the participation of both PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz and JUI-F head Maulana Fazlur Rehman. Then, whether because somebody in government told it to (as the opposition says) or it acted on its own (as the government seems convinced), the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) arrested PML-N leader Khwaja Asif. Surely it is somewhat ironic that Asif was among the PML-N leaders who till very recently looked forward to sitting down and talking things out with the ruling party. And then the PM dropped what can only be called a political bombshell by ordering relevant authorities to accept all resignations that come to them within 30 minutes. This, for those accustomed with the sometimes very weird oscillations in Pakistani politics, is the very height of brinkmanship. One can only hope that this decision has been thoroughly thought through and it is not simply a reflex action on the part of the prime minister. This is not one of those decisions that you can conveniently take back later and toss it into the long list of U-turns that this government has so far taken. Because if so many hundreds of opposition lawmakers resign both the House and the government will be stripped of all legitimacy. And once you force everybody into such dark allies you are practically asking for an outside force to intervene and restore order to the country. As the sitting government, PTI cannot afford to play politics like an opposition party. It is now responsible for the welfare of the whole nation, regardless of any roadblocks put in place by opposition parties. For such is the burden of responsibility that the electorate puts on your shoulders when people vote you into power. PTI must find ways to make the existing system work, which means it will have to display greater flexibility than the opposition. Anything less would betray a disregard of the way this country works.