Inayatullah The latest consignment of WikiLeaks is another slap in the face of Pakistan. Much about the misconduct and shenanigans of our ruling elite was already known, but the graphic details flowing out of the recent revelations show how low and inept our rulers have been in managing the affairs of the state. The most disgraceful aspect of their behaviour has been indulging in hypocrisy and deceit, especially in matters of defence and foreign relations. Our Prime Minister has been telling us all along that he condemns the drone attacks and that strong protests were lodged with Washington. Just read the American ambassadors report in this respect: (Rehman) Malik suggested we (the US) hold off alleged Predator attacks until after the Bajaur operation. The PM (Gilani) brushed aside Rahmans remarks and said: 'I dont care if they do it as long as they get the right people. We will protest in the National Assembly and then ignore it. A self-respecting Prime Minister might have resigned after this exposure of duplicity. Another instance of a blatant denial relates to the presence of the US Special Operation Forces which, according to WikiLeaks, have been operating along with the Pakistan Army in many places within the country. In both these cases, unfortunately, the public calls for clarification have been brushed aside. It is claimed that Pakistan is presently being governed by a peoples government. The Prime Minister is in charge of this government. But if he deliberately dupes the people, should he continue to hold the helm of the countrys affairs? The least expected of him, is an unvarnished apology. Another scandalous display of irresponsible behaviour is the way in which both civil and military high-ups have been washing the dirty linen before the foreign diplomats and high-ranking visiting officials. One used to wonder as to why the American ambassador and visitors from the US and the UK had so much access to our top decision-makers, including the President, the Prime Minister and the Chief of Army Staff. Imagine Anne Patterson meeting COAS Kayani four times in a week during the long march days in March 2009, and what the General was telling her about highly sensitive matters. More about it later. Every Congressman or woman, and even junior US state diplomat officials, could sail through to the PMs office and the presidency, and discuss matters of high importance. (It is unthinkable that this could happen in India and other independent countries.) Thanks to these Leaks, a lot more is now known about the civil-military relations in Pakistan. The PPP government often exhibits photographs of the President, PM and COAS to create an impression that the relationship amongst them is prim and proper. Pattersons diplomatic reports, however, present a very different picture. More than once the Army Chief felt inclined to replace Zardari. He even named a successor - Asfandyar Wali Khan. This could have actually happened, if the long march for the restoration of the judges had continued to move towards Islamabad. Now that we know who ultimately call the shots, can we call ourselves a democracy? One may here recall a provision in the Kerry-Lugar Act, which requires periodical certification that the army is not interfering in the countrys political affairs. But what to make of the fact that the Americans themselves have created the impression that the most powerful person in the country, today, is the Chief of Army Staff. Good that Kayani is not keen or inclined to take over the country. But how independent is he and how well can he safeguard the countrys vital interests? If he is so dependent on the US for funds needed to continue the coalition support operations, and frequently asks for military hardware, can he keep his resolve to stick to his own agenda and plans of action? It remains to be seen as to whether he would continue to resist pressure from the Pentagon and the State Department to start operations in North Wazirastan. Aware as he is of the heavy fallout cost of a violent backlash in various parts of the country, would he give in and go ahead? The weakling civil administration led by Zardari and Gilani is already reported to have surrendered to American pressure. Kayani has further to come out, clearly on our policy about our relationships with the Talibans in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is time our government, and in particular the Foreign Office, evolves a clear-cut agenda in this respect. Hopefully, Kayani will stand firm to safeguard our nuclear assets. Americans, it appears will continue to seek access to our atomic installations and endeavour to remove the nuclear fuel having attempted to do so earlier. General Kayani may also take steps to ensure that the army strictly avoids, in future, extrajudicial killings, as earlier reported by US sources. Unfortunate, indeed, that the President of our country has suffered a further image-deterioration with the release of the American diplomatic cables. In a cable, former UK Chief of Defence Staff Jock Stirrup labelled him as a numbskull. Another senior officer of the British Foreign Office said that he (President) does not have much sense of how to govern a country. Yet, another comment is that he keeps asking for lots of development aid and meanwhile circumstances on the ground are getting worse. A leaked memo quotes King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia saying: When the head is rotten, it affects the whole body. A top UAE official called him dirty (and Nawaz Sharif dangerous). In March 2009, US Vice President Joe Biden told the British PM that Zardari had said: ISI Director and Kayani will take me out. How dynastic Zardari is may well be seen that he would like his sister to succeed him as President. Anne Patterson in a cable, on February 2010, wrote: Pakistan civilian government remains weak, ineffectual and corrupt and domestic politics is dominated by uncertainty about the fate of President Zardari. According to the New York Times, that assessment holds more than eight months later. What may immediately be done? One, the disclosures by WikiLeaks relating to Pakistan must be discussed in special sessions of the National Assembly and the Senate, and a set of recommendations developed for an improved conduct of our ruling elite (including the military command). Two, our politicians should seriously consider holding mid-term general elections. The writer is a political and international relations analyst. Email: