One great tragedy resulting from Benazir Bhutto's murder would seem to be, five months down the line, a legacy she inadvertently left behind her. The personalities bequeathed to the nation of Pakistan by her untimely passing are doing it no good - to the contrary, they are busy making more of a mess of an already established mess. By now there should be many simple souls, mostly media related, plus a goodly number of optimistic "experts" and ordinary citizens, who are bitterly kicking themselves. Their "euphoria" post the February elections when they were jumping up and down in joyous celebration on the rebirth of their country was sadly misplaced. Did no one remember the good old fable about the leopard and its spots? Both the national and the foreign media (to a lesser extent) take great pains to stress the awfulness of President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf and the damage his eight years in power has done to the nation and its institutions. He is described by all as discredited. Has our independent media forgotten how at the closing of last century and for most of this century both Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif were abused and discredited, how they were reviled for having had swindled the country and its people? There was little doubt, apparently, in the mind of the media and of the people that the numerous cases filed against Zardari in his own country and abroad were all justified and cast iron. This started a decade ago and continued on until December 2007 when he suddenly managed to transmogrify himself into a hard-done angel of sorts by the handing over to him, quite undemocratically, of a political party and by the wicked machinations of the establishment and the extremely dirty deal that is the NRO. In similar vein, Nawaz Sharif was universally accepted as someone who at the expense of his nation had built up a more than substantial industrial empire, and who flaunted his wealth without any compunction. He was the man who through his 15th constitutional amendment planned to take over the country lock, stock and barrel and rule as an amir-ul-momineen. His record as far as the judiciary is concerned is so well known that it does not bear repetition. So when we ask why is it that Musharraf is still with us,  how come no one asks why are the once venal Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif back with us despite their well known and fully documented exploits of the 1990s? What is the glaring difference between them and Musharraf? Hot news in one section of the press last week had it that Musharraf was planning to depart from the scene having done another deal indemnifying himself from any potential action to be taken against him for his illegal actions, only to be rubbished the next day by news that Musharraf had declared that he is going nowhere. And why should he go, when Zardari and Sharif are back with us? All are much of a muchness and all deserving of each other. That Musharraf is going away in a hurry is but a wishful thinking, particularly on the part of Sharif who can never forgive him for October 1999. Also on the part of Zardari, who might feel easier without Musharraf sitting where he is as a constant reminder of the shady backroom deals in which he is tangled. Yes, there are conspiracies galore, all taking place more or less under our noses as each player on the national stage either tries to consolidate his power seat or satisfy his particular personal vendetta. Neither Zardari and his McLean's smile nor Sharif is an elected representative. Exactly what are they? The Indians visiting last week rightly stated that they were not sure as to who is in-charge of Pakistan. We are also in a quandary on that question. As it stands, a fair answer might be George W Bush. And how about the gentleman shot into the post of the prime minister of Pakistan. Whilst in Sharm-al-Sheikh, fraternising with the US President, he had a somewhat tongue-tied discussion on terrorism and blithely assured Bush and the media that he is determined to fight "for" terrorism. So be it. The new governor of the mighty province of Punjab is known for many things - his media empire which is surely compromised by his appointment, his other financially lucrative empires, his political savvy and for the treatment he underwent at the hands of the Brothers Sharif in the early 1990s for which it is doubtful he can forgive them. Why did he have to sport a giant Benazir rosette at his swearing-in and then deliver a rousing speech as if he were a hardcore jiyala? What was he out to prove? Salman Taseer has written one of the best books on Zulfikar Ali Bhutto - Bhutto - A Political Biography published in 1979 by Ithaca Press, London. It brilliantly covers Bhutto's dramatic life and the political structure of this muddled messy country, with its intrigues, feudal mindset, populism and religiosity - all of which, over two decades down the line, are still alive and kicking. E-mail: arfc@cyber.net.pk