PRESIDENT Zardari has shifted positions to counter the growing political opposition to his stance on the NRO and his governments acquiescence, in fact effusive embrace, of the Kerry Lugar Act. He is now attempting to create a new divide in an already divided polity by declaring that he has survived three attempts at his removal and that political conflicts amongst the parties may be used to undermine democracy. He is also known to be venting his anger amongst his close cronies against the military within the confines of the Presidency. It is unfortunate that a civil-military divide is being artificially created at a time when none exists and when the military, at the behest of the civilian government (which acted on US pressure), is conducting a sensitive operation in South Waziristan. This is being done despite US impediments in the shape of the vacating of US/NATO military posts on the Afghan side of the Pakistan-Afghan border, which has allowed an easier flow of arms to the TTP. Unfortunately the Presidents statements also lack credibility because he is presently the major source of weakening democracy by not restoring the balance of power in favour of the Prime Ministers office through the requisite constitutional reforms that are being sought by the majority of the political players, including the main political parties. The Presidents declaratory statements ring hollow because of his failed promises regarding the Charter of Democracy. Until the constitutional balance is restored through Parliament, democracy will continue to suffer. The President has now given a March deadline for the required constitutional reforms; but what is the delay if he is willing to give up the powers Musharraf had bestowed upon himself through his constitutional amendments? After all, the Prime Minister is committed to removing the dictatorial aberrations made in the Constitution and the Opposition certainly wants the reforms in a hurry. So where is the mysterious cause of all the delay? Nor is this all. When a political crunch comes, more wheeling and dealing takes place with coalition partners and the Opposition. Quick trips abroad and clandestine meetings continue to cast their shadow over our political edifice. But even with his coalition partners, the Presidential charm has waned and unless concrete actions take place, no one will be fooled anymore - especially with the growing revelations of corruption and nepotism that are now becoming public. Effectively, the leadership is unable to deliver to its citizens on any front, and that is a most critical source of democracy remaining weak. If the democratic forces are unable to govern, then how will the democratic culture be bolstered? So President Zardari should stop creating ghostly threats and begin delivering, if he wants to secure democracy in Pakistan.