THEY insist on calling themselves Friends of Democratic Pakistan, much like some beleaguered African dictatorship that insist on being called a democratic republic. The government of Pakistan has requested for an additional $3.1 billion from the International Monetary Fund as the ironically nomenclatured FoDP hasn't shown any signs of immediate aid. Giving the IMF the touch again was necessitated by the fiscal recklessness of the Shaukat Aziz regime. The country faced the prospect of defaulting on its loans. But the loans from the international financial institutions will only keep us afloat. They will not enable us to grapple with other problems. Consider the issue of circular debt in the power sector. Were the government to have enough fiscal space for government departments to pay off Wapda and perhaps foot the bill for Fata, the state's power generations and distribution mechanism would have money to pay off Independent Power Producers. Next, Wapda could spend on maintenance and upgradation to curtail transmission costs. Now that we appear set to become the first country to have full-blown energy riots, a mitigation of our energy crisis would most definitely help the elected government of our nascent democracy. The Friends keep claiming it is democracy that they want to befriend; that, as opposed to previous mistakes, it is the political dispensation that they want to strengthen. But the mess that the military regime has left behind leaves too much for elected governments to clean up after. It only boils down to alienating the electorate from representative government. If the west indeed admits that there have been lapses on its part as far as support to democracy is concerned, it should realize it has a lot to atone for. From Ayub Khan to Musharraf and the other two in between, the west has supported military regimes in crushing local democracy. The least it could do is give a helping hand to a young democracy like ours.