Straight Talk He may have been besieged, bothered and bewildered, but The Come Back Kid is a fighter and did not get to the top of the political ladder by being soft and wet behind the ears. He has always been a survivor and a tough nut to crack and has finally emerged from his bunker, with both gloves swinging, ready to take on any challenger who threatens his throne. Like the Great Ali, he has been 'floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee', ducking and dancing around our political ring for the last nineteen months, mocking the challengers to take their best shot. And they have all tried, throwing wild jabs and body punches, but no challenger has managed to bruise him seriously, let alone give him a black eye or a lucky knockout punch. He has sent out a loud and clear message to his challengers that he possesses WPDs and would use these "political weapons to foil all conspiracies" against all those who tried to snatch his crown through unconstitutional means. His remarks had naturally triggered wild rumours and speculations and according to political analysts, The Champ is referring to the Electoral College, that up to now, has voted and supported him overwhelmingly. The Balochistan Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution: 'Reposing full confidence in the leadership of President Asif Ali Zardari and his policies and for steering the country out of the present crisis and to meet various and national and international challenges'. The BA further added that they appreciated his role in evolving a new consensus on the 7th NFC Award and called him, which no doubt, goes to his credit. He is expecting a similar support from the NA, SA, NWFP and even the Senate, which had all passed a similar resolution earlier. Armed with such resounding endorsements by our obliging EC under his belt, he has placed himself in a winning position and has sent a clear message to all challengers, that He has an iron jaw and can handle any punch that is thrown at him, even fowl blows below the belt. However, the wild card in the pack, is the Punjab Assembly, which could upset his Apple Cart and challenge his title. His buddy and pal, the brash Punjab Guv, cum Chef A La Carte, has given his best shot and tried to tame the Punjab Tigers, but has not succeeded. He has also failed to win the hearts and minds of the citizens of the province. But the Come Back Kid has always enjoyed living on the edge and is now planning to walk straight into the Tiger's den, by addressing a meeting in Lahore. Will he be badly mauled or come out without a scratch or a bruise, the next few days will reveal. But with all this mud slinging going around on our TV channels, a question that comes to mind is, why should a leader, who claims to be of the people, by the people and for the people, need a vote of confidence and support from the Electoral College? At the same time, he is the head of a country with nuclear power and the sixth largest army in the world, so why should he need a Sindh Card or Cap or a Punjabi Turban to help him retain his crown? Such behavior is unbecoming a Head of State, even to seek political popularity and support, unless of course, he feels insecure and is perhaps not as popular as he claims to be. No doubt, now that the protective shield of the NRO has been removed, he is more vulnerable and it seems that it is open season to 'Get Zardari' and every one is taking a shot at him. No wonder The Champ is rattled and is feeling insecure and afraid of his own shadow, and who wouldn't be? He has been hounded all over the world for over fifteen years, first as Mr. 10% and now as Lord of the Ring, which is being openly challenged. And our electronic media is having a field day, exposing and ridiculing our leaders and politicians, exposing their lack of sense and sensibility. As one flick's through our TV channels, all one sees is smug anchors, exposing the lack of good governance, law and order, shortage of electricity, gas and basic facilities and escalating prices. You see them exposing the shallowness of their guests, goading them to attack each other through a shouting match, in which character assassination and wild accusations are part of the game. These mud-slinging matches, in which everything and anything goes, including punches below the belt, are embarrassing and humiliating and paint a bleak picture of doom and gloom scenario and a growing apprehension of chaos, turmoil and the danger of an economic and social collapse in the country. And the SC and PML-N are yet to step into the ring and flex their muscles. Up to now, NS has played a the role of a friendly opposition, with a hot and cold game plan and a carrot and stick policy. He is hoping to tire The Champ, nudge him into a corner and force him to get rid of the 17th amendment. And the SC has restricted its judicial activism to the NRO so far and has not really focused on the numerous cases of massive corruption by ministers, parliamentarians and high profile individuals. However, political pundits warn that once that starts, there will be no stopping it. It would be like a run away train and could derail the delicate political process once again and force the army to step in under the time old Doctrine of Necessity, to save the nation from a civil war. The King's address to PPP supporters in a Punjabi turban and in Punjabi, in the confines of the Governor's House, was more of a party leader, mustering support from his workers, rather then that of a Head of State, trying to dispel the negative reports of the short comings of his government. It lacked substance, did not inspire confidence and had a ring of desperation, with a touch of Custer's Last Stand pitch. Will the votes of confidence and support from all the King's Men and our More Loyal then the King parliamentarians, be able to help the Lord of the Ring retain his crown and his title for long, only the coming Ides of March will tell. H Maker (email: