This precipitously perched Republic has managed to make it through yet another terrible year and has now lurched unsteadily into 2009, with commentators both inside and outside asking: where does it go from here? That is not a question easily answerable. The government, led by an accidental president clinging on to various prime ministerial powers, despite the fact that it is supposed to operate under the parliamentary system, has failed to establish itself and seems to be weakening fast. Asif Ali Zardari, who became president on the back of a tragedy, has failed to establish any political credibility or to promote confidence amongst the people, or even amongst a goodly number of his party members. His past hangs too heavily around his neck. Memories of the charges of corruption will never go away despite the fact they were never proven in court and more so because they were done away with by means of a despicable amnesty cooked up by the US and our former president, Pervez Musharraf (hopefully to his everlasting shame and regret). Yes, in Pakistani political terms the president is eminently qualified to lead the country as he is a jailbird, but then the conditions of his jailing were somewhat different to those of the average accused. He spent most of the time in hospital and was accorded a freedom not commonly accorded to those imprisoned for crimes against their country. Admittedly, he stuck it out and persevered, his first release coming as early at 1993 when released from jail the man who had put him their had to suffer the ignominy of swearing in Zardari as a minister. His periods of incarceration did however cause him some problems; the stress, according to court papers filed by doctors last year in connection with one of the many cases against him in foreign courts apparently caused bouts of dementia, depression and memory loss. As to where do we go, well, a reading of the international press has it that a change at the top in Pakistan seems all but inevitable as he has proven to be totally incompetent of filling the large gap left by the assassination of his wife over a year ago. His cronyism is frightening as is the corruption in which his 'friends' are said to indulge. His amateur attempts at dealing with foreign policy have left the army in its traditional all powerful position - the army being the sole winner to emerge in this past year of disasters when the country found itself once again entrapped in conflict with its large neighbour. According to a report last week in the Wall Street Journal, the cause of the conflict has been sorted out by Pakistan's own investigative agents and it has been established that indeed the Lashkar-i-Taiba which was guilty of the Mumbai assault. But in the same report we were informed that a presidential spokesman had stated that the president was unaware of the disclosures made by a captured Lashkar leader. Bizarre statements are nothing new as far as our accidental president is concerned but a recent statement outdoes all others when it comes to the bizarre. In a speech made on the occasion of the first anniversary of Benazir Bhutto's cruel slaying, her widower declared that he knows the identity of the assassins and that "I will expose the killers..." at some undetermined but expedient moment. What is wrong with him? Does he think he is following in the political footsteps of the founder of the PPP, now converted to the neo-PPP, who constantly threatened to expose the secret of the Tashkent Declaration but never got round to it. Does he think he is playing some political game as do our politicians by always threatening to expose the misdeeds of their political opponents but never do? If he knows who are the murderers of an internationally recognised and respected politician who was not only a former prime minister of this country but also his wife, it is his bounden duty - if he knows who they are - to denounce the killers, see that they are arrested and that they are subjected to the due process of the law. It is highly irresponsible, actually downright wrong, of him to make such a statement - if it be a lie or if it be the truth. An added factor is the United Nations. They should object strongly to what he has stated. For if he does know the killers, he has no right to approach the UN and ask for an independent enquiry into the matter, wasting the money of the Pakistan government and the people and the time and efforts of UN staff who could be better employed doing some other necessary job. If the president is not being unduly economical with the truth when he declared so fervently: "I will expose the killers of Benazir Bhutto. I know the killers. I will expose the killers to save the country," he should do his duty as a law-abiding citizen, and do so immediately. And if it is a question of saving the country, the longer he tarries the less likelihood, with him at the summit, will there be of a desired rescue. The writer is a freelance columnist E-mail: