THE Supreme Court landmark judgment last week on the NRO has brought into bold relief certain characteristics of our polity that are fundamentally inimical to the oft-expressed desire of the political leadership to so develop and entrench a democratic order in the country that it forestalls Bonapartist adventurism. The people at large are not, however, hoodwinked by the rulers' oral commitment to one of democracy's cardinal principles of accepting the court verdict, while in actual practice adopting every tactic to evade its application. The major opposition party's role is no less scandalous. Instead of exposing the government's chicanery it is taking shelter behind the ill fitting slogan of 'saving the system'. It deliberately overlooks a basic political reality, i.e. that letting the individuals clear their names through a proper legal process would strengthen rather than torpedo the system. Leaders of the PPP, the party leading the ruling coalition, have openly come out in a confrontationist stand vis--vis the judiciary, warning it not to step out of its constitutional role, otherwise it would put up resistance, and virtually questioning its integrity for not giving its rulings on certain pending cases involving politicians other than those belonging to the PPP. Even the cheap, but dangerous, tactic of raising the phantom of the country's break-up for, in the words of Senior PPP Punjab Minister Raja Riaz, PPP's judicial murder, was not eschewed when the Party's Punjab General Council met at Lahore on Monday. Incidentally, the atmosphere and terminology used there went against Mr Zardari's counsel at the Central Executive Committee meeting on Saturday that the PPP was a symbol of the federation and should not employ a parochial posture. Governor Salman Taseer has also jumped in, observing that the decision on the NRO ought to have been a two-liner and asserting that Mian Shahbaz Sharif has continued to be Punjab Chief Minister on a stay order and that the court has not given its final ruling. Nevertheless, the critical references by PPP leaders to the PML-N and vice versa (Rana Sanaullah and Ahsan Iqbal) are no more than shadow boxing. The PML-N, unlike JI and PTI, does not seem to be doing anything tangible to have the NRO implemented in letter and in spirit. Sadly, in the process of saving selfish interests, the imperatives of democracy are ruthlessly ignored. The court verdict should have been a starting point in cleansing the country's corrupt body politic. The free run that corrupt practices, be it by politicians, bureaucrats or by businessmen, have had, has not only brought a bad name to Pakistan but also harmed it across the board immeasurably. In a scenario where almost everyone's hands are soiled, the judiciary seems to be the only silver lining. Let all of us unhesitatingly bow before its rulings