In a recent 'In Focus program on a private TV channel, the issue under discussion had been The Power Crisis. I had watched the program and was surprised and shocked when former senators Enver Beg of PPP and Jamal Leghari of PML-Q, the eldest son of former president Farooq Leghari, stated that the President was a major share holder in the errant and malfunctioning KESC and also accused the PPP government of corruption and that he could prove it. Senator Enver Beg also bluntly added that the Ministry of Power and KESC was 'cheating and lying to the President, the PM and the public. He said that the figures and the information that the bureaucrats were feeding to the government, the media and the general public, were incorrect and load shedding would not end by the end of December. These above views have also been endorsed by Tanzeem Naqvi, former MD KESC. These seedy rumours have been whispering round the dark corridors of power in Islamabad for quite some time, but the KESC Saga has brought them out on the open for the first time. The News has also carried out a detailed investigation on the ownership of Abraaj Group and has published a report. According to the newspaper, KESCs top executives admit that Mr Farrukh Abbas is a relative of President Asif Ali Zardari, 'but not directly, only through marriage and at no time has this personal relationship played any part in Abraajs involvement in KESC. Another frank admission is that the Group Marketing and Communication Head of Abraaj, Mr Qashif Effendi, is also related to the Zardari family. 'He is distantly related, but that relationship has no impact on the business, nor has it played any role in Mr Effendis known career growth. And another coincidence is that CEO of KESC, Mr Jalil Tareen, is a distant cousin and a good friend of Shaukat Tareen, PMs Adviser on Finance. But of course: 'He has obviously been hired entirely on his own merits, as he has happens to have a superb track record as a highly seasoned, UK-qualified chartered Accountant and senior manager in Pakistani local and multi-national businesses. How lucky can you get? The Abraaj management claims, 'We spent six months doing gave meticulous attentio of this deal and no favors were sought by Abraaj during the course of its negotiations with the GoP and none were granted. Bully for them. Now these are all 'honorable men, related directly or indirectly, to 'honorable men, therefore we must not doubt their integrity or their honesty. But many are skeptical and as the Americans say, 'Tell that to the Marines. Every day there are stories and pictures of rioting youths, burning of tires and trains, attacks on KESC offices and trucks, court cases, etc. Yet it seems that it is impossible to shame the KESC management, who seem to have a powerful 'Hidden Hand to protect them. The uselessness of our elected members has been exposed once again, as the NA failed to take KESC to task over the power crisis. And adding salt to the consumers wounds, these representatives of the citizens and the guardians of our rights, have accepted KESCs explanations for the power breakdowns and load shedding and have expressed their satisfaction on its performance. Now it seems that the government has finally taken notice of the Power Crisis, which has plagued the nation for over one year and crippled our industry and our daily lives. In a recent special cabinet committee meeting on the energy crisis, the members took the management of KESC to task over its questionable functioning and financial issues. They summoned the owners and executive board of the company and asked them to provide details of cash flow, operations and maintenance and explain why the system collapsed during the recent rains. It also directed the KESC management to come up with credible evidence of improvement, otherwise 'the government would be constrained to terminate the privatisation agreement and take over the utility in the public interest. Some committee members even expressed their anger over KESCs performance and reportedly stated that: 'it appears that everything happening in the utility is deliberate and gives rise to suspicions that money was being siphoned out and not properly being invested in the utility. However, de-privatisation of KESC is not the solution, as it would cause more harm. According to G. R. Bhatti, former Chf. Engr. KESC, the only short-term solution to save this city from plunging into darkness is Rental Power Plants. However, the problem with RPPs is that the cost per unit is higher, but we seem to have no option. There are also fears that we are inching towards disaster again and the entire country might plunge into darkness. The pundits of 'doom and gloom are out in full force and the 'failed state syndrome is once again being discussed on our TV channels, which seem to have replaced our parliament and senate in controlling and influencing our system of governance. Unfortunately, our most glaring misfortune is the absence of an independent and non-partisan civil society. Citizens lack the moral courage to openly and collectively condemn and demand punishment of those responsible for the sorry state of our country. Judging from the performance of the past 12 months, one is forced to give serious thought to the chances of success for our present system of governance. Pakistan politics and society is a hot bed of ethnic and religious differences, in which power can easily be hijacked by self above all individuals, who can influence, manipulate and misuse the authority that has been given to them. We have seen it happen before and we are seeing it happen again. The recent judicial activism initiated by the Hon. CJ, which is being described as a 'flexing of muscles is in the right direction, but could open a Pandoras box which would be hard to close. This, combined with the bombings and the terrorists attacks of the past, the threat of the March of the Taliban, the failure of the LEA to control target killings, brutal rapes, etc., are a blue print for disaster. However, the Superior Judiciary, in their collective wisdom, have denounced the military take-overs and their endorsements by the judiciary and have declared the action of Gen. Pervez Musharraf on November 3rd 07, as illegal and unconstitutional. Let us hope and pray that this hallmark judgement will change the course of this sinking Titanic and the Hon. Judges will continue to take effective action to stop the country from plunging into further darkness, not on a personal basis, but in the best interest of the country. Because if they fail, then using Julius Caesars famous last words, 'Et Tu Brutus, then die Caesar. H Maker (Email: