Tallat Azim It has been a reveal all few days. Taken by surprise, the Pakistani nation has read, with astonishment if not disbelief, the aanian jaanian and innermost desires of all those who are at its helm of affairs. Whatever is now there on record is pretty much what was suspected anyway, but the tantalising peep into private conversations between American diplomats and Pakistans whos who has disclosed a mindset that is anything but independent, on our side that is. The 'scene setters, as the communications are called, give input to the State Department about different aspects and outcomes of a situation or person, based on firsthand information. In retrospect, all the opinions have come together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. So far, there have been no denials on anybodys part. The funniest, or the most devious depending on which side you are on, is the one relating to Maulana Fazlur Rehman wooing America to help make him the Prime Minister. There have always been astounding stories related to the Maulana, which have clashed greatly with the image that he portrays. Gifted, with the ability of the gab, he manages to wriggle out of situations. I do hope Mussarat Shaheen, the famous actress of Pushto cinema, who was his opponent in the last elections will contest the same constituency again in the next ones, as the leaks have given added ammunition with which to defeat the Maulana at his game. Then there is the Talpur tamasha. According to the leaks, President Asif Zardari would like his sister Faryal Talpur to become President of Pakistan, if something were to happen to him. This is taking the dynasties in democracies to the next level. The will to continue in power even from the grave is insatiable apparently. Ascendancy to high offices here depends, not on working your way up and having a CV to die for, but being born in a family, which likes remaining in the seat of power at all costs. It seems we can be divided into just two categories of people in this country. The rulers and the ruled, but with no rules however. The upside of these damaging leaks is that the present and aspiring politicians will be more circumspect about what they express to the diplomats in the future. I have a feeling that Ambassador Munter will not be as sought after a dinner guest, as was his predecessor Patterson, except maybe by the army, who pull all the strings anyway. General Kayani, as the leaks disclose, has his preferences in political personalities, and his role has been like that of the Mogul Queen Nur Jahan, who actually called all the shots in her husbands rule. Like Queen Nur Jahan, who would tap on Emperor Jahangirs shoulder from behind the veil to convey her agreement or otherwise to a decision in court, General Kayani decides which is the lesser of the evils, and thus more appropriate, and shares his opinions with the American ambassador. He declares who he thinks is the best option for being President. If we are to thank God for small mercies, then we can be relieved that he did not at least nominate his sister, but preferred the affable Asfandyar Wali Khan. Another upside is that the few politicians who have remained untainted have a better chance in the next elections and there is also more scope of fresh leadership emerging on the horizon. When the mirror is held up at election time and the question asked of it, as in the story for children whos the fairest of them all?, the mirror is bound to tell the truth. In fact, it is going to cry out for discarding the tried, tested, compromised, and anything but fair options. The American ambassador, who sent all this information back to Washington, has made some other observations too. She wrote: Pakistan has solid albeit weak institutions, a robust if often irresponsible media, established although under-equipped police forces, an increasingly strong civil society and a population with a proven resiliency to withstand everything from earthquakes to kleptocracy. Although we do not believe that Pakistan is a failed state, we nonetheless recognise that the challenges it faces are dire. It is a report card that we would have written ourselves too. Postscript: There was extensive TV footage recently of PPP Minister Warraich being profusely welcomed in his home district in the Punjab. There is nothing wrong with being welcomed, except that it was accompanied by a vulgar and dangerous display of aerial firing with automatic weapons by the jiyalas. It also amounted to a flagrant flaunting of the law. The display was so much that it managed to visibly intimidate the police, who just looked on helplessly. Towards the end of this noisy display just two jiyalas were picked up by the police for face-saving. Apparently, they too were let off soon enough because of the interference from high places. The CM cannot and should not allow this to happen in his province. The writer is a freelance columnist. Email: tallatazim@yahoo.com