The newly constituted cabinet turned out to be just a farce, with most of the ministers retaining their seats and even their portfolios. They only took new oaths on Friday. Some about whom the opposition had reservations and wanted their ouster owing to the widespread charges of corruption and inefficiency, found themselves in the saddle again. That also flies in the face of the Supreme Court judgement on the NRO. The message to the judiciary as well as the opposition is that the government cares least about their views and will brazenly do what serves its own interests. Had these ministers been removed, the government might have earned the goodwill of the general public and would have taken a respite from the criticism that is being rightly levelled against it from different quarters. Apart from this dimension, there was simply no point in bringing them back because of their bad reputation and because they had miserably failed to deliver. Given that the problem of law and order is the severest to hit the country, one had wished that there would at least be someone with a fresh thinking to do the job. Continuing with the same leadership would neither provide a sense of inspiration to those who actually execute the policies of the government, nor give the expectation of better days ahead to the public. If anyone had regretted in taking up an assignment, as reported in the media, it only was his or her admission that under the present dispensation, he or she would not be able to do justice to his or her job Though the government is taking credit for cutting down the size of the cabinet from 60 to 22, it covers a multitude of sins. First, 14 new individuals in the capacity of advisors etc have also been inducted. The fact that these officials would enjoy the perks of ministers makes a travesty of the governments argument about austerity. Besides, the Prime Minister is keeping with him the charge of eight ministries and it should be expected that the inclusion of new ministers is only a matter of time. At the end of the day, Mr Gilani and President Zardari cannot escape the blame for failing to reform the cabinet; the trimmed down rhetoric was, it seems, a mere gimmick to show that the criteria of the 18th Amendment and demand of the PML-Ns 10-point agenda were being met. Both the Prime Minister and the President have subtly tried to do things that might appear purging the government of overload, corruption and inefficiency, while with more or less the same faces, nothing of the sort could be accomplished.