WHEN crime flourishes, corruption spreads its tentacles widely and extremism continues to gnaw at the socio-economic fabric of the country, and the authorities seem to be making endless movement without stepping forward to rein these evils in, the person wielding the power of decisive action to set things right should not expect to be rated favourably. President Asif Zardari has, quite naturally, undergone a precipitous fall in popularity from 64 percent last year to 32 percent in May-June this year, when the Pew Research Centre of the US conducted its face-to-face survey of mostly urban adults in Pakistan. It has been bad governance in short that reversed the situation. However, the poll saw Prime Minister Gilani with a 67 percent approval rating, possibly because of his apparent attempts to take decisions independent of the President. The public sentiment about his being deprived of powers due to him in a parliamentary democracy might also have played its part in the public forming a favourable opinion of him. Mian Nawaz Sharif of PML(N) remains the most popular leader, obviously for his persistence in demanding the restoration of the Constitution in its original form and the trial of Gen (retd) Musharraf. To the unease of American leadership, favourable view of the US and confidence in President Obama remain abysmally low (16 and 13 percent respectively) though the opinion about militants has largely become negative. Similarly, for all the efforts of Washington to deflect attention from danger from India and focus on militants, India remains a threat in the public eye, with 69 percent thinking it is a serious threat and 57 percent and 41 percent having the same feeling about the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.