It's all too late of course, but the perfect time to leave and have done with it all would have been November 28, the day President General Pervez Musharraf handed over the command of the Pakistan Army to his successor, a general of the ISI. It had been a foregone conclusion - we all knew and therefore he must have known that shed of his uniform power would immediately evaporate. He would be but a sitting duck, a Samson waiting for the pillars to crumble and fall. But no, he had negotiated his deal with the mighty sole superpower and Benazir Bhutto. The name of the game was power-sharing and all appeared to be gung-ho. But all went horribly awry on December 27, both for him and for the nation. As to those who claim he had a hand in the events of that day, they are stupid, for he was the greatest loser in the same manner as Asif Zardari was the greatest gainer. As for the nation, it showed itself for what it was - violent in the extreme, uncontrollable, some bent on vengeance against who or what they knew not, the rest benefiting from an excuse to kill, loot and burn at will. The government of the day was helpless - as is the government of this day. February 18 came and went and brought with it the awesome surprise of the two unelected leaders of the two main political parties and their gloating henchpersons. There is no need to detail the political gymnastics. We know them well. The result is an erosion of not only the economy but of all restraints of behaviour coupled with the steady advance of the militants of the Taliban. In the past week there were two suicide bombers at work, one in Peshawar and one in Lahore. The government, the legislative, the executive, and the media have all been too caught up in their spree of vengeance, spitting out daily doses of venom and vitriol, to spare more than a passing thought for those left to mourn and those maimed. What sort of people have been voted in by what sort of people? It is a question upon which we should all be pondering. The impeachment exercise has shown up not only the instigators for what they are - a bunch of vengeance seekers indulging themselves in a baiting game, but also the media by and large gleefully joining in the vendetta with no holds barred.. Rather than being a sober, well-thought out exercise, the impeachment process is being treated like a riotous outing to the seaside by a bunch of yahoos. There is little debate or discussion to be seen or heard, just the hurling of random venom and accusations, many without solid base. When will those who have a voice learn to think before uttering and realise that disagreement is not about abuse, ranting and raving, but about presenting a case in a civilised manner and agreeing to disagree amicably?  Hysteria abounds not only in the Musharraf matter but in the America-bashing which is at its height, fuelled by the doings on the northern borders, and by the Aafia Siddiqui affair. With all the America-bashing and talk of Pakistan's 'sovereignty' how come the American ambassador and a British foreign office official have been crawling around Islamabad and Raiwind negotiating safe-exits? Are the people who purportedly run Pakistan incapable of providing a safe-exit to a head of state? Maybe, if the leaders of Pakistan knew that safe-exits were the order of the day they would not be so reluctant to relinquish power. That the despicable rats have run is no surprise, they have run hither and thither on many a previous occasion. The unelected supremos and the government playing a vitriolic propaganda game, ignoring all rules of accountability, have been rightly castigated by one responsible press publication in an editorial of August 12: "It is ironical that the author of the NRO is now being targeted by the beneficiaries of the infamous law. Not only did the NRO enable politicians of all hues to cleanse their often dirty hands within the country, it also facilitated the 'whitening' of millions of dollars stashed away in foreign banks." That same day one other of the few responsible press publications editorialised on the disgusting "vindictive hype." "Discussion is hitting a new low in decency," it opened up, "TV debates are shouting phaansi...there is no serenity in the project of impeaching a president of Pakistan. Instead there is a lot of crude intent to take revenge." We were rightly reminded that "alliances based on the basis of negative emotions seldom prosper," and that once the object of the venom and vitriol departs the whole unsavoury caboodle may just fall apart. Happy days are here again? The writer is a freelance columnist E-mail: arfc@cyber.net.pk