Well, the man has done it again. He bravely entered the lion’s den and despite the snarls and growls of the opposition, faced the onslaught and amid the din of desk thumping, shouts of protest and a walk out from the opposition, became the first Pakistani Head of State to deliver a record fifth address to a joint sitting of the National Assembly and Senate. 
He spoke of the positive achievements of his government and praised his PM, who has proved his loyalty to the King, by defying and ridiculing the Supreme Court.
However, his loyal Awam may not agree with this observation, for the address avoided reference to the real issues and problems facing the country.
It seems that the President is out of touch with the ground realities and unaware of the backbreaking inflation and that a majority of his 180 million subjects are being deprived of the basic amenities of life. They are sitting ducks for the target killers, bhatta and extortion mafias and even the LEAs and have to struggle just to survive.
He seems to be unaware that his government has been accused of the worst kind of corruption and mismanagement by the local and International media and even TI (over eight trillion rupees). Yet, with his ‘Catch me if you can’ skills, he has survived and managed to neutralize all these allegations calmly. 
While in open defiance, his PM has categorically stated that he will not obey the orders of the Chief Justice of Pakistan and write a letter relating to the 60 million US dollars in a Swiss Bank, no matter what the consequences are.
The President’s loyal subject has offered himself as the sacrificial lamb and said that he was prepared to spend a six-month stint in the lock up and even resign and sacrifice his political career, rather then violate the Constitution and betray his mentor. The PM has even challenged the credibility of the Bench that is trying him for contempt.
Seeing the ongoing tug of war in the courts, some of our innovative TV anchors have coined a new phrase, ‘Contempt of court or contempt for the court, the Rule of Law and the Awam’, to describe the proceedings in the SC.  
However, the question being asked by the Awam is, what should be more important for the PM, being loyal to the country, respect for the Judiciary, the Rule of Law or loyalty to the President, just to protect his interests?
And in return for the PM’s loyalty, the President praised his government for a job well done and its positive results. 
However, to his credit, AZ may not have fully tamed the opposition in the NA, but he has proved that he can take the heat and face any threat or challenge that comes his way, something that he has been doing ever since he became the Accidental President of this Land of the Pak and the Pure.
As such, everyone associated with the wheels of governance, including the opposition, seems to be happy and laughing all the way to the bank, except, of course, the Awam who voted for his government.
In the last four and a half years, ‘Zardari Bashing’ has become a popular sport for our print and electronic media and not a day goes by, without a negative article or TV program which does not use AZ and his government as a punching bag.
Yet, despite all odds and the various ‘Get Zardari’ and ‘Go Zardari Go’ campaigns, The Man has been able to conjure up more support for himself from the various divergent political parties in our murky and treacherous politics, then any other past leader. 
The recent hearings in the Supreme Court on the Mehrangate scandal have exposed the skeletons in our political cupboard and that almost all our Honorable Politicians had a hand in the cookie jar. As they say, ‘Birds of the same feather, flock together’.
The other cases relating to the infamous NRO, the Swiss Bank account, immunity to the President and the Memogate, reveal the ‘Dirty Politics’ that are played by the powerful Puppet Masters, who use their Hidden Hands to manipulate and stage-manage our politics.
 They use popular, patriotic slogans like ‘In the Best interest of the country – Pakistan First - The Doctrine of Necessity, etc., to suit their personal agenda and fool the Awam.
They say that you can fool some people, some of the time, but not all the people, all the time. However, in Pakistan, it is different and the Puppet Masters have proved that they have been fooling all the people, all the time and getting away with it for the last sixty years.    
But now that we know the truth, where do we go from here? Will these Puppet Masters be held accountable and punished for their crimes? Or, as in the past, will the skeletons of these sins of omissions and commissions be reburied in the grave yards of the past and forgotten in due time?
The Muk-Muka and the shadow boxing between the government and the ‘friendly opposition’ has become a joke and it seems that the present lot is going nowhere and come election time, it could be given another five years to steal and plunder.
The tsunami that the Great Khan has been promising us, the one that would sweep these Puppet Masters and their corrupt Hidden Hands into the ocean, seems to have lost its force and has turned into an ebbing tide.
I am sure we all agree that under the present set up, change is not possible. But the question is, can IK and his team of Mr. Cleans, be able to break the strangle hold Ali Baba and his forty thieves have over politics of this country. Will the Great Khan be able to stand up to the pressure of Uncle Sam and refuse to tow their line?
The only way we can put a stop to this Tragedy of Errors and bring change, is for the silent Awam to stand up and be counted. It will have to break its Silence of the Lambs and assert itself, especially the youth and the educated. 
For without that, change will never come and it will be the ‘Beloved Awam’ itself, that will be responsible for the re-election of the present government and again become the sacrificial lambs.
And while the Nation celebrated Pakistan Day with the usual ‘vigor and zeal’, patriotic songs, speeches, parades and 21 gun salutes, Lyari was once again under siege, with gun battles between the residents of the area and the LEAs. Such is the tragedy of this nation.

(Email: trust@helplinetrust.org).