IN all conscience, when it comes to transparency or good governance, the government has failed to set things right at its end. The news, for instance, of the appointment of PPPs ex- parliamentarian and head of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Sports Jamshed Dasti, caught holding a fake degree as Advisor to Prime Minister on Livestock is highly disappointing. It shows how much the government is disposed towards protecting the errant and wayward individuals. Worse still, he has been given a ticket to contest the forthcoming by-polls in Punjab even though he had failed to defend his case in the court, which clearly shows that he is guilty. The Prime Minister or the President for that matter, who should have expelled him from the party and ensured that he was brought to book, have done a great wrong instead by backing him. It leaves a question mark on the conduct of Prime Minister Gilani because the elevation of Dasti to the rank of his Advisor would probably be his first order following the transfer of powers to him from the President. Endorsement of corruption in such a blatant manner will only deal a disastrous blow to the system that is already nearing its collapse owing to loot and plunder by those who were supposed to strengthen it. On the other side of the spectrum, President Zardari is pursuing a policy of patronising bad eggs despite public outcry. His act of granting remission to thousands of prisoners is apparently aimed at freeing his old time buddy Ahmed Riaz Shiekh, former DG FIA, who was put behind bars by the Supreme Court. The tendency to flout the rule of law in literally broad daylight is tantamount to making a mockery not only of the man in the street and his expectations from leaders but also democracy. At the end of the day, the goal of a clean and transparent leadership remains very much a dream. Besides, the demonic energy with which the government is defying the Supreme Courts orders to punish the NRO beneficiaries shows that the entire lot is rotten.