THE public at large never had any doubt about the governments attempts at obstructing justice, particularly inasmuch as their experience of the non-implementation of the Supreme Court judgement on the NRO was concerned. Now, the Law Ministrys unsuccessful effort to get, from the NAB, the record of cases in Swiss courts against Mr Zardari, on the pretext of ensuring greater security for the documents, as reported in the press, smells of devious designs. Similarly, the grant of 'long leave to the Law Secretary, involved in the disposal of queries from the apex court, falls in the category of delaying tactics. The reportedly angry and abusive behaviour of Law and Justice Minister Babar Awan, while he was addressing a journalist, should, however, be no news. But all these instances drive one to the same conclusion: delaying and devious tactics are being adopted to obstruct justice. It is close to four months that the Supreme Court pronounced its judgement on the NRO, declaring it null and void ab initio, as if the Ordinance had never existed, and directing the government to reopen all the cases, which had been wound up on its promulgation by General Musharraf. The government and People Partys response is suggestive of an outright refusal to implement the court verdict; questioning even the practicability and rationale of it; accusing the judiciary of encroaching upon the domains of other constitutional institutions; and adopting cheap, but defiant, delaying tactics. A veritable climate of confrontation has been created to tax the nerves of the apex court, though, ironically, the Prime Minister repeatedly denies that the government intends disobeying the court. On the other hand, while the Supreme Court began expressing anger at the lack of progress on full implementation of the NRO judgement and the public outcry against the defiance of justice went up, there has been virtually no move to re-initiate proceedings in the cases against President Zardari in Swiss courts nor any tangible action has been taken against former Attorney General Malik Qayyum, despite the courts specific directions in these respects. The above scenario is highly depressing for all those who believe, and very rightly, that the roots of democracy get their strength and sustenance from a climate of strict adherence to the rule of law. It would be a great pity if the myopic vision of our ruling leadership to save the skin of certain individuals were to create another challenge to the democratic order. It needs no stressing that we must all join hands to preserve the system.