The sentiments that the Prime Minister expressed for the outgoing members of the cabinet went well beyond the formal words one utters to bid farewell to colleagues that one had spent some time with. The outpouring of the words of praise and satisfaction that accompanied the receipt of the letters of resignation from them by Mr Gilani carries different implications. It was outrageous to speak in laudable terms for their performance considering the pervasive ill of misgovernance associated with most of them. Besides, not a few of them carried the taint of corrupt practices, some widely accused by the media and political commentators, and at least one mentioned in a court case. The latest about Syed Hamid Saeed Kazmi, till recently the Religious Affairs Minster, is that the FIAs investigations have found him having dug deep into the pockets of the poor Hajis in the recent much-talked-about Haj scandal, and stacking millions of dollars in banks abroad. He was being sought by the police to be put behind bars. The argument that after all he was cashiered from the job does not fit in. He stayed long enough in the position of power to make hay and was only shown the door when the embezzlement stories became so common that retaining him would have been an unbearable encumbrance. Kazmis example should be taken as just the tip of the iceberg of corruption prevalent in the higher circles of the government. To recount the instances of mismanagement and inefficiency would need volumes. In any case, they are so commonplace that it is impossible to avoid encountering them, whether it is the endless tale of price hike artificially engineered for profiteering, an absolute lack of security of life and property owing to unpredictable acts of terrorism and lawlessness, or the chaotic scenes of traffic on the roads. Pick up any aspect of life and it would be found full of holes. While getting rid of the managers of such a show would give a sense of relief to the public, their removal has just the opposite implication, if the Prime Ministers evaluation of their performance is to be taken at its face value. The people would not like a good performer to be removed, and one could be sure neither the government. Why should in that case Mr Gilani demand their resignations? The truth is the all-round pressure, local in the form of, especially, the PML-Ns 10-point agenda, as well as foreign from the IMF and allies. But if the idea is to cut the cabinet to a reasonable size and make it aboveboard in terms of integrity, honesty, fair play and commitment, the mention of some of the old and tried names making the rounds as frontrunners for the new cabinet would simply be taboo. In the event they are retaken and cleaner lot is sidelined, how could the charge of the Kings men go for window dressing, as so aptly laid by this newspaper, be gainsaid? There is strong need for the Prime Minister to select only those enjoying good reputation to make tangible difference in governance.