This endless discussion, both verbal and written, on whether the President of the Republic, in the person of Asif Ali Zardari, sho-uld remain where he is or go has become self-defeating. He is where he is, voted in by the representatives of the people, all of whom were more than aware of his track record, and surely none of whom, however desperate to be a hanger-on of his coat tails so as to clamber into or preserve their positions, were in doubt as to his propensities and his ability to possibly be deserving of all accusations levelled against him. The fault lies not with Zar-dari, but with those who voted him in. Now they are all stuck in their arguments on, once again and forever, the interpretation of the constitution which seems to thwart all, be they layman or lawman. The much discussed Article 248 would seem to imply that the President of the Republic, his governors and assorted ministers are not answerable to any court for the exercise of powers and performance of functions of their respective offices or for any act done or purported to be done in the exercise of those powers and performance of those functions. Fine, none of these most honourable gentlemen or ladies can be held up for anything they do whilst in office. Does this cover murder, manslaughter, robbery, and whatever other crime one can come up with? If so, then all we can say is so be it. But does it also cover past misdeeds? When the Zardari camp claims, as it must, that he is endowed with perfect immunity are they saying that if in the past he stands accused of having committed a crime, then the immunity holds whilst he is in office? The anti-Zardari camp claims that he does not have immunity from any alleged past misdeeds and that he should lawfully be taken to task. Does Article 248 automatically wash away all past contraventions of the law or does it only cover the period of the holding of office? Amidst all the counter claims is there no one in the country who is capable of interpreting this mangled and mauled constitution which holds us is its throes so as to sort out exactly what the immunity is and what it covers and does not cover? The Supreme Court of Pakistan has not enlightened us. Should it not have, and should it not? What is its interpretation of this immunity article? We need to know. The matter of interpretation also applies to the Islamic provisions which came to us courtesy military dictator President General Ziaul Haq, that great manipulator. Even the learned judges of the Supreme Court seem to be stumped by these provisions and unable to pinpoint exactly how they should or should not be applied. From a reading of the short order of December 16, 2009, and the detailed judgment that followed it would seem that both judges and provisions were left in a vacuum. This situation holds true to this day and no end to the deadlock is anywhere on the horizon. The country, its lawmakers and its interpreters of the law need to get real. Anyhow, and whatever, lets face it - whether Zardari and his troupe are with us or not with us makes not a whit of difference as there is no acceptable or viable alternative that we know of right now. There is another national argument taking place as to whether the country deserves and should have mid-term elections in view of the mess in which the current government finds itself and its perceived contempt for the people over which it rules. What can mid-term elections bring in? The same old rot, the same old faces, the same old feudal, tribal, provincial mindset. The present lot will either come back or the other lot that has been around with us for some quarter of a century will have another turn. We do not have elements of change. The status quo, as always, will be maintained - a fractious political scenario, a dangerous economic situation, poverty, a population explosion and accompanying illiteracy which the feudal tribal min-dset goes out of its way to fuel, and all the ills and crimes against the people that go hand-in-hand with politics as played in Pakistan, civilian or military. The writer is a freelance columnist. Email: