Showing callous disregard for the Supreme Courts directions, the federal as well as the provincial governments continue to hire retired bureaucrats on top administrative positions. This practice speaks volumes about the tendency to promote cronyism and nepotism and is a poor reflection on the credibility of those who have been raising slogans of good governance and merit. It is not only the federal government that is guilty of rehiring favourites. Punjab, whose 10-point agenda demands compliance with court decisions, re-employed as many as 100 officers during the past two years, closely followed by the Sindh province. The Khyber Pukhtunkhwa government, which never tires of singing songs of being honest, has under the pretext of deteriorating security situation inducted three retired officers belonging to the police service. Balochistan is the least offender, with one re-employed. Whether large or small these postings violate law. There is no justification whatsoever for tinkering with the recruitment procedures over frivolous excuses of serving the masses and deteriorating law and order situation. It is alarming that there are also reports that not only the lawful process for rehiring was not properly followed but the officers who have been inducted include some corrupt officials as well. This tends to spread frustration among the deserving officers and ultimately breeds ill-will towards the state that they should be serving with honesty, integrity and hard work. Bureaucrats who have reached their superannuation should be sent home and new ones given chance to rise up the ladder. The norm unfortunately in our case is that officers are evaluated on the basis of loyalty they accord to their political bosses and are given powerful positions even after retirement. The orders of the Supreme Court must be shown the respect that is their due. The prevailing culture of cronyism must end if merit is to be protected in the country.