Last week, the print and electronic media were inundated with the sound of trumpets and the baying of jackals, causing a ear splitting cacophony of sound. And what is amazing is that some of our leading TV anchors also joined them in their shrill chorus. The march of the trumpeters, in praise of the great Caesar, was led by none other then our Federal Minister for Health and was followed by MNAs, senators and all those who wanted to prove that they were more loyal to the king than the others. As young Salim, Doc. Mervyns son has written in his Letter to the Editor, 'Congratulations to President Zardari for the completion of his first year in office. Well done sir, but were you aware that under your able leadership, our various ministries now have budgets so large that they can afford to spend hundreds of thousands rupees in advertisements? Is it necessary for us as tax-payer to see money being wasted with such reckless abandon by ministers in pursuit of political brownie points? Well written, young man. The same view is also shared by Dr. Tank and Samrina Hashmi, President and Gen. Sec. PMA: 'It is sad that in a situation where our health budget is so meagre and does not fulfil the needs of common people, money is wasted on self- praising advertisements. The diversion of funds for these ads is atrocious and we should all condemn such acts and ask our Govt. to increase the Health Budget and not to spend it on such advertisements, but for the betterment of the health of people of Pakistan. This cheap, but expensive way of spending the taxpayers money is in bad taste and has done more damage to AZ, then good. If I were in his place, I would demand a public apology and force them to pay for these advertisements from their personal expenses. But then, this is Pakistan and blowing your own trumpet or for your leader, is a time old, honourable tradition, like Honour Killings. They say power corrupts and absolute power, corrupts absolutely, especially if it is unrestrained by law or a conscious and ultimately leads to disaster and a tragic end. Unfortunately, AZ seems to be travelling down the same treacherous and dangerous corridors of power as his predecessors. History books are littered with stories of great men and women who thought they were All Powerful and King of all they surveyed, but destiny and fate always intervenes. They seem to forget that what goes around comes around and the mightier they are, the harder they fall. The action taken by Gen. Musharraf against CJ Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and other judges of the Supreme Court, which he now regrets, is a classic example of how absolute power had blinded the General, which led to his unceremonious departure from the Presidency and the country. The jackals are all baying for blood and want him to be tried for treason. They ask, 'Should dictators with blood on their hands be allowed to get off, while ordinary people guilty of petty crimes are sent to prison? Are General Musharraf and all those who have violated, decimated, defiled, disfigured and subverted the constitution of Pakistan, above the law? They warn that we have fifth columnists, foreign agents and traitors amongst us and quote Jeffersons famous line, 'The Tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of tyrants. Frightening and chilling thoughts. No doubt he must be held accountable, but if my memory serves me right, when the General had landed safely at Karachi and boldly walked into the Presidency and announced his seven point agenda, we had all jumped for joy, beat the drums, danced in the streets and distributed sweets and happy to see the end of another corrupt and incompetent government. Of course, at that time, as even now, we had not learned from history or our past mistakes, that once in power, even he would be corrupted by ABSOLUTE POWER and we would be back from where we had started, something that we have been repeating for the last 62 years and will surely repeat again. No doubt, Gen. Musharraf must be held accountable, but he is no more guilty then some of our past and present political leaders, who have a murky past. From my point of view, the Generals biggest sin was that he allowed himself to be corrupted by power and by selfish and greedy advisors and aids. He tried to become a political leader by wearing funny hats and tried to fool the citizens with his mock and sham democracy. If he had been honest with the nation and implemented his 7-point agenda within the mandate he had given, cleaned up the mess and marched briskly back to the barracks, he would have been a hero today and the nation would not be baying for his blood. Instead, in his thirst for power, the General destroyed the judiciary, the institutions and the moral fibre of the nation and in its place, he left us a parliament that is incompetent, impotent and paralysed. Mr. Zardari claims that he is a pillar of the parliament. If that is so, will he take action against his over paid Robber Baron friends, who sit in his cowed parliament and have tarnished his credibility by all the scandals that plague his government? Will he hold them accountable for drawing up wrong policies, creating artificial shortages and forming cartels, which help them rob the nation and fill up their coffers at the cost of hapless consumers? They too have blood on their hands and are indirectly guilty for the death of innocent women and children, whose only crime was that they were poor and wanted to get atta for their families in the holy month of Ramadan, which the government has failed to provide, despite its slogan of 'Roti, Kapra, Makan. The Prophecy of a Doom and Gloom Prophet is already circulating the internet: 'Very soon the politicians, bureaucrats and defense personnel involved in corruption, will be lynched and dragged on the streets by angry mobs of Pakistani People, fed up of their poverty and deprivations and start a Revolution. Once again, a chilling prophecy. This should be a wake up call for all of us, especially those who are guilty of amassing illegal wealth. They must remember that ill-gotten wealth is a curse, as it destroys the souls who all who receive or use it. As for whom the bell tolls, well, you be the judge of that. H. Maker (Email: