AS the PPP-led federal government completes two years in office, successfully warding off, on the way, jolts that appeared to be severe enough to have brought it down, it is appropriate to assess its performance, recalling both achievements and failures. The first to strike an observer, surveying the national scene, would be an overwhelming supply of shortcomings and disappointments that tend to eclipse successes. There is the rulers dismal failure at governance that has affected life in all its dimensions. The common mans lot deteriorated across the board. Whether it is his plight in the face of the unchecked inflationary spiral, or his sense of insecurity of life and property - his two main concerns - the situation worsened. The price index rose by 36.3 percent, while in the case of goods of daily use, it went up much higher. By repeatedly holding out the promise of relief in the prices of basic food items, without making any tangible move to fulfil it, the authorities not only incurred the public ire and derision, but also demonstrated an utter lack of vision and inability to foresee the inherent dangers should the situation be allowed to persist. Yet the IMFs dictates prevailed. Seen in the context of the overall economic slump, with prolonged power shutdowns forcing the closure of industrial units that caused widespread layoffs, and the water shortage ominously targeting our agricultural system, the past two years turned out to be a long nightmare. Add to that the rampant corruption that has grown manifold and the picture becomes thoroughly disappointing. The governments deliberate disobedience of law, as seen in its attitude towards the Supreme Court judgement on NRO, virtually overshadowed its creditable achievement in finalising the NFC award, though the award only temporarily raised the politicians profile because it had defied repeated efforts of Musharrafs dictatorial regime. The gains in the anti-terrorist campaign in FATA were seriously tampered by the frequent acts of terrorism in the rest of the country where citizens peace of mind became a casualty, as the fear of criminals at large, with even the guardians of law at times found involved, had a snowball effect. That the CoD, instead of being the first to be put into effect, appeared in the form of a constitutional reforms package, which has yet to be agreed upon because several contentious issues were added to it, further brought the government down in public estimation. The salvation of the country lies in strict obedience to the rule of law, and a strong focus on the welfare of the public at large.