It would have been nave to have been surprised by last Tuesday's event in Lahore - it was a fitting welcome to Governor's Rule for the unfortunate Sri Lankan cricketers, the even more unfortunate police officers who lost their lives, and the people of the city of Lahore. The blame must lie fairly and squarely on the president of the Republic, who, in cahoots with his party governor in the Punjab, and worse, with the Supreme Court of Pakistan, saw fit to get rid of a troublesome provincial government, fiddle around with mass transfers in the administration and police and disturb dangerously whatever security measures were in force. The Zardari-appointed unelected security chieftan, Rehman Malik, shares the blame. What is his track record? He was Benazir Bhutto's security head honcho when she was murdered, he presided over the Marriott bomb blast, the Mumbai incident, and the debacle in Swat and the FATA areas, plus the plethora of bombings and the kidnappings that have taken place over the past year in various parts of the country, both ethnic and terrorist inspired. Coincidentally with the cricket attack came a column in the Wall Street Journal appearing under the name of the Zardari 'written by our ambassador in the US' proclaiming Pakistan's and the president's steadfast stand against terror. He 'took' credit for having "successfully conducted military operations" in FATA and other parts of the country and for restoring peace in Swat. This last achievement, in the manner in which it has been done, is fraught with danger and we may already be seeing its repercussions. 'Deals' cannot be done with terrorists. It does not pay - to the contrary, it poses immense jeopardy. Presumably the US and its allies are privy to the true nitty-gritty of the 'deal', hence their apprehensions. But the people of Pakistan are not privy to the truth. All we do know is that Pakistan under this present dispensation, whatever it may be - certainly not the parliamentary system as prescribed by the constitution it mendaciously claims each day to uphold - has thrown law and order to the winds, it cannot provide security to its own people or to visitors, it makes a mockery of justice, undermining the country's judiciary whilst preaching its independence, it cannot provide education for the larger mass, it cannot provide electrical power, potable water, or the normal amenities of civilisation. The elected politicians of the country, on both sides of the divide, spend all their energy and time on consolidating whatever power bases they have and conspiring against each other, in having, or endeavouring to have, their own corruption charges thrown out of court. In short, the state over which they preside has lost its legitimacy and its writ over the country at large as confidence in it has faded drastically - in fact disintegrated so swiftly as never before. Incredible scenarios are being presented to us via the media, the internet being an unstoppable source of international comment and condemnation. One American internet commentator has expressed his belief that the USA will be forced to take control of a failed government in Pakistan. As he says, this is no mere idle speculation as events are unravelling so quickly within the country, bereft of any credible civilian leadership which can guarantee the security of the atomic weaponry and halt the march of the terrorists. Rather than it be 'required' that the US enter, he hopes it may be 'invited' in as the situation grows more critical. This does not make pleasant nor reassuring reading. One thing is for sure - President Barack Obama is not going to 'cut and run' on this war being waged against 'terror', but actually against Islamic fundamentalism. Hence the frequent twice weekly reminders that Pakistan is 'not' doing enough. How can it do enough when its political leadership is involved in bitter in-fighting for individual survival? Another view expressed from the UK in The Guardian on March 3 is that if General Ashfaq Kayani "and his fellow generals felt obliged to step in 'for the good of the country', then Washington, more concerned about defeating the Taliban and Al-Qaeda than preserving a democratic system that daily appears to be more and more of a travesty of itself, might well go along. After all, it wouldn't be the first time." Taking up a view recently expressed in our own press, it may not be necessary for the generals to actually physically step in. As we were reminded, a former Army Chief, General Wahid Kakar, brought under control an uncontrollable situation in 1993, when Mian Nawaz Sharif and his elected government were on the warpath, and turfed out one president and one prime minister, without one army boot moving, and temporarily restored some sort of order until another elected government was brought in and political disorder restored. We live in two Pakistans', one presided over by the Taliban and their allies and the other ruled by clowns bent on destruction and mayhem, ably assisted by a loyal opposition. We are slowly inching forward into becoming a failed state - a general consensus. Our security services are regarded with suspicion as to their links with and infiltration by terrorist organisations. The streets of our cities are now unsafe for foreign visitors - even those who come in the name of sports. One question posed last week on the net by one Pakistani to another: "Do you know anyone who can get me a Burkino Faso or Botswana passport?" The writer is a freelance columnist