And what am I supposed to do about it? Toe the line, tailor my opinions.But what youre really saying is, if I cant conform in one area of life, then I have to conform in the others. Not just the surface things, everything. Even against my conscience. Well, I cant live like that. Nobody should live like that. Pat Barker, in The Eye in the Door Democracy is the politics of conscience: integrity, honesty, completeness, justice, creditability, innovation, judgment, inspiration, talent, vision, perception and, above all, absolute dedication to the welfare of the common people. Without a determined and complete application of the moral norms and principles of democratic doctrine, the management of politics turns into a comedy of errors and manners - just the way it has become in present-day Pakistan. The ruling elite in this country is so completely uninformed of the philosophical and moral dimensions of democratic management that they are blatantly involved in the process of turning democratic governance into an oligarchy of a chosen few - namely the top leadership of the incumbent PPP in power now. This ominous political assault is an outrage against the people of Pakistan and the state itself. The ovations and cheers for a democratic dispensation in the country seem to be abating, and a tragic end is in sight - the disappointment of the masses. The various leading characters in this drama of political decadence in todays Pakistan are the top leaders at the helm of national affairs. They are gobbling away billions of the national wealth. They provide protection to the corrupt, inefficient and dishonest political managers in the regime. They dismiss the countrys laws as something that do not apply to them. They obstruct the course of justice. They dismiss the tax system as irrelevant to their existence. They practice selective favouritism. They toss insults and threats at their political adversaries. They claim divine sainthood. They project themselves as champions of democracy and the chosen people of God. And in reality, they are making national policies and conducting political management in a way that is hurting the masses and pushing the country towards an absolute economic, social, cultural and political abyss. The civil society in Pakistan struggled for the restoration of democracy because people in this country were finally sick of military dictators - Musha-rrafs unending ordinances, shady political deals and manipulations, absolute subjugation of national sovereignty to US interests, the so-called war on terrorism against its own citizens, the misconstrued political propaganda dogma of enlightened moderation, a Bush era onslaught against our Islamic values and faith, and above all, Musharrafs personal interests taking precedent over national interests and his absolute unilateral decision-making in national affairs. And yet, nothing has changed in the so-called democratic Pakistan of the PPP dispensation. Imagine, a word from the visiting US Secretary of State and Islamabad churns out a national policy of trade (Afghan-Pak trade route) instantly - without a debate in the National Assembly, without deliberations in the countrys chambers of commerce, without consultations with business establishments and without the consent of national policymakers in trade and commerce. Someone at the top of the political hierarchy made a split-second unilateral decision to submit to the US Secretary of States demand. In the last election that brought PPP into national political power, people voted for a break with ideas, the habits and the behaviour of the past - and yet the past has come back to haunt this nation in a way that the people of this country could never have imagined. We are in a sinkhole destined to endure the monopoly over decision-making by a few egocentric, corrupt, inefficient and indifferent political managers, who are conducting national affairs entirely for self-aggrandisement and the structuring of the polity for their excusive oligarchic interests. It is not a democratic set up - it is a tragic comedy of manners. This nation is confronted with a total suspension of empathy: empathy for the public that is such an important part of the national political managers mindset and conscience. That its absence has become the root of all political monstrosities unleashed against the masses. The ruling elite and political managers attitude is one of We do not care. We are the state. We have the mandate; you will abide by our dictates. Period. The present-day PPP leadership needs to carry out an in-depth introspection of its political mindset, its political conscience, its management model, its conceptual and operational approach to national policymaking, its own perception of public accountability and its ultimate obligations to the welfare of the masses. Obviously, to date, the incumbent government has failed in its mandate to serve the public interest. Poverty in the nation has significantly increased since the PPP has come into power, the prices of basic commodities have skyrocketed and are increasing on a daily basis, the gas and power dilemma remains unresolved, education, health and nearly all vital national services are lacking, the security situation in the country is worse than ever before (to name a few national problems), and there is not a shred of evidence that this leadership has the ability to direct this nation towards self-reliance, self-supporting indigenous economic development and the restoration of its national sovereignty and dignity. Dependence on US aid and American interference in Pakistans domestic and foreign affairs has exceeded acceptable limits and political rationality. We continue to kill our own citizens on behest of American political-military objectives in this region. This leadership covertly sanctions drone attacks against its own people. It has come to own a war that is not ours - it has turned its own citizens into killers and suicide bombers because of its inhumane apathy towards them. The question is: why does this nation deserve this leadership? I would be interested, if you have an answer The writer is an academic and political analyst. Email: