Who is to blame when an elected government fails to perform? And what is the remedy?Pakistan today is a case study of a failure of political leadership in doing its duty to meet its constitutional obligations. Law and order is the primary responsibility of the state, declared the founding father of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, as early as 1947.A non-stop spate of killings - targeted killings - has been going on in the metropolitan city of Karachi day after day, month after month. And extortion thugs operate unhindered. People protest, often to be fired at. All that is said or done by way of remedial action is assurances and hollow statements. All the time, tinkering with the menacing, worsening situation! And more of the same. The courts issue directives, which are ignored or only partially heeded.After more than 70 sittings in Quetta, the highest court of the country seemed to have lost its cool and on October 8 hearing, issued dire warnings. Just read a part of what the court said: “We want that democracy remains in place in the country. We will proceed, no matter heaven falls or any mountain splits up. Balochistan issue is more vital than any other issue.......Don’t force us to pass an order.......We have to pass an order only. We are showing restraint.”One may well sense the state of desperation gripping the honourable Supreme Court judges. Remarked the Chief Justice, Mr Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, if the Constitution was not implemented, the court could be compelled to order and then not just the Balochistan government, but any other government would have to go.Addressing the Advocate General, the CJ said: “Life of any person stands wrecked in whose house the bodies of a son, brother or husband are lying. Not a single person has been recovered (by the Frontier Corps).”The Supreme Court is, indeed, determined to make the government discharge its responsibilities. It is taking notice of the continuing breakdown of law and order in Khuzdar where 15 people have been killed and where the writ of the government ceased to exist for weeks; of the Dera Bugti situation; of the bumping off of another doctor; of illegal vehicles and arms; and of other criminal activities.And what has been the response of the PPP-led government? First, an announcement by the Prime Minister that his government was ready for talks with the Baloch leaders, but only with those who respect the national flag and the Constitution. Past master as it is in tinkering with serious issues, “a special Cabinet Committee” has proposed that political reconciliation should be given top priority only with “legitimate“ Baloch leadership; that elders should be approached to facilitate the process of dialogue and closure of camps run by militants. It calls for the filling of existing vacancies within a month. That missing persons, “if in the custody of any agency”, should be produced before the courts within two weeks to bring them within the ambit of law. Also, serious and concerted efforts should be made at the federal and provincial levels to trace the missing persons as per the list submitted to the Supreme Court. There should be enhanced diplomatic efforts to stop foreign interference in the affairs of Balochistan.As part of the administrative measures, the Committee recommended that a Provincial Committee, comprising the Governor, the Chief Minister and the Corps Commander of Quetta, should be formed to ensure an integrated approach in all matters relating to law and order. It should meet at least fortnightly. The existing post of Home Secretary should be redesignated as Additional Chief Secretary (Home) exclusively to look after the maintenance of law and order situation in the province and to enhance the capacity building of police and Levies to curb insurgency, sectarian killings, kidnappings for ransom and other criminal activities. A Standing Committee, comprising representatives from various religions and sects, should be formed by the provincial government to secure religious and sectarian harmony.Quite a long step after the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan. As if the Raja government has really woken up from its deep slumber and now means business in the violence-drenched largest province of the country.Amazing that there is no reference in it to Akhtar Mengal’s six points. Will there be an, even a partial, implementation of the floated proposals? Can the corrupt and incompetent provincial government be expected to undertake with responsibility and efficiency, even a single Committee recommendation?If the Supreme Court finally issues an order, it has referred to on October 8, what will be the ensuing shape of things who knows better than the Chief Justice and what sort of administrator it is dealing with (just see how it dilly-dallied and defied the court orders for more than three years about the “withdrawal” letter to the Swiss court).Shabash Imran Khan, you have taken an impressive step to lead a march towards Waziristan against the drone strikes. Do follow it up with demonstration in New York (staging a protest rally at the United Nations Building), and organising a campaign for highlighting the issue in Washington, London, Berlin, Paris, and other places joining with the anti-drone lobbies. We have to stop these attacks by an external power. Already we have permitted naked aggression and outrageous intrusion - unwarranted and unacceptable - in our territories.A wise PML-N should not hesitate to join in the campaign launched by PTI. There are times when personal, parochial and partisan feelings have to be subordinated for the sake of a bigger cause. Imran Khan, too, should move away from his rigid intransigent stance and accept other (howsoever otherwise unwelcome) in larger national interest. While ending this column, it is important that a word or two is added to further emphasise the role of the political opposition. The higher judiciary has already gone out of the way to rectify the wrongs and aberrations perpetrated by the coalition governments wielding authority at the centre and the provinces. Ideally, the opposition should arrive at a consensus and chalk out a programme, focusing on vital national interests. They should take up the most menacing issues, offer solutions and press the government to take the necessary step to see that the matter is satisfactorily addressed. It is gratifying that PTI has taken upon itself the task of dealing with some of the burning issues. Hopefully, others will take up some of the other issues and ensure that desired action is taken to resolve them. The writer is an ex-federal secretary and ambassador, and political and international relations analyst.Email: pacade@brain.net.pk