Inayatullah Pakistans politics has worked badly because people who claim to be playing by one set of rules are in fact quietly playing by another. Emma Duncan in Breaking the Curfew (1989) I should have restored the judiciary in the beginning. That is my biggest mistake. Then we would not have wasted our energies on each other. It would have been better if we would have concentrated on the people of Pakistan. Thus, spoke Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to the Financial Times on Wednesday. This admission of a costly blunder on Mr Gilanis part merits notice and analysis. First, why did he deliberately indulge in the folly of stubbornly refusing to restore the judges, for so long? Was it really his fault or was he being dictated from the presidency? If he was so constrained, why is he taking all the blame on himself? Sometime back he claimed that it was his decision to restore the judges. No sir, it was not your decision. The long march and COASs intervention did the job. The PMs belated announcement was a mere formality. The delay was clearly due to reluctance on the part of the boss to concede defeat. Moreover, Mr Gilani realises that a lot of precious time, more than a year, was wasted and the energies thus wasted could have been put to better use for peoples welfare. Having admitted this serious fault on his part, what has Mr Gilani done by way of redeeming himself and atoning for the serious lapse? All that he has done is to add to his defaults by dragging his feet in complying with the courts judgment. Therefore, his expression of regret has to be taken with a sizeable pinch of salt. The way the court directives have been disregarded, in particular about specific action against NAB officials and Ex-Attorney General Malik Qayyum as well as Swiss cases raises question marks about the sincerity of the PMs much delayed expression of regrets and his declared commitment to honour the verdict of the highest court of the country. Delay, dilly-dallying and dragging of feet appears to be the hallmark of this government. Take the case of the supply of electricity. Huge damage has been caused by its shortage and frequent extended outages. Industry has been badly hit and colossal losses incurred. People made miserable and countless workplaces and institutions seriously, adversely affected. No action has been taken against the minister for water and power for the failure to fulfil his repeated promise of ending loadshedding by the end of December 2009. We are now being told that heavy loadshedding will continue throughout the sizzling summer. Flabbergasting indeed that there is no sign of a sense of urgency in the corridors of power, in Islamabad, to do something immediately to add to the power supply. The past two years have been wasted. Why couldnt a few dozen small dams been built on suitable sites during this period? What exactly are the plans in hand? Why is the installed capacity not being fully utilised? Why have the rental old plants being commissioned in the face of a critical report released by the Asian Development Bank? Why have even these plants not been operationalised so far? Why has the manageable circular debt issue not been speedily addressed? Is it correct that corruption is a major factor in all this mismanagement? Why is there so much delay in the construction of Diamer-Basha Dam, allowing the cost to go up from $5.9 billion to $12 billion? And why has the gas supply agreement with Iran delayed for so long? Although it is reported that the agreement has been signed finally, because of the pressing need to meet power shortages, why has it taken this government more than two years to finalise this arrangement? Has there been any serious effort made at the highest level to import a substantial amount of power from Iran, in addition to the existing limited supply to Balochistan? Shouldnt one come to the conclusion that the government has been negligent of its duties and insensitive to meeting the peoples essential needs? Taking note of a preposterous increase in the countrys debt during the last two years, it is horrifying to learn that as per Dr Ashfaq Hassan Khan, a former senior official of the Ministry of Finance, there has been an increase of Rs 928 billion in the public debt during the last six months of which Rs 181 billions have been added because of the fall in the rupees value. The most worrying fact in this respect is that during the last 62 years, the total stock of public debt amounted to Rs 4814 billions, while in the last two years it has nearly doubled reaching the amount of Rs 8470 billion. As for foreign debt, it now stands at $55.7 billion with an increase of $15 billion during the last two and a half years. Is Mr Gilani aware of this rapidly mounting unbearable burden thrust on the generation to come? Are loans being utilised economically and effectively? Why is the opposition a passive spectator of the governments irresponsible conduct in recklessly adding to future liabilities? Their passivity and lack of concern is indeed most regrettable. One wonders how much more corruption and misuse of authority would have been perpetrated by the government if the media and the judiciary had not taken up the role of watchmen and monitors? It is the poor performance and corrupt practice of the incumbent government which will ultimately bring in boots marching into the civilian domain, throwing politicians out in the gutters. The writer is an ex-chairman of the National Commission for Literacy and Mass Education. Email: pacade@brain.net.pk