The debate over the controversial ordinance promulgated by former President Gen.(R) Pervez Musharaff on October 05,2007 is in full swing in our media. Every participant is full of rage and hot air against this law that was meant to pardon corruption cases against thousands of white-collar criminals who have allegedly siphoned off hundreds of billions through kickbacks, corruption and misuse of authority. Every patriotic Pakistani wants this law repealed. In a country that is already placed by the Transparency International at the 42nd rank on the Corruption Perception Index 2009, it is now up to our political leadership to show maturity. By resorting to legal battles to defend the cases that come under its ambit in courts of law, they must get a clean chit from the judiciary. The NRO was a political maneuver of a dictator to woo the political forces along on the bandwagon of his protracted illegitimate rule. This ordinance was destined for the heap once the democratic government came into being after the February 2008 elections. It was astonishing to see the PPP place this controversial ordinance in the parliament for approval. Some thought it was equivalent of strangulating the democracy once for all in the country. The credit goes to media which raised such a hue and cry that the people at helm were forced to reverse their decision. PM Gillani was forced to state that this law has been buried forever. Now some people are saying that in order to save the system, some concession must be given to President Zardari. That indirectly means that if Zardari is asked to defend cases in open courts, he would roll back the whole democratic system as a revenge? He cannot do this as our constitution does not give him such power. Our courts are independent and if he takes any supra-constitutional step, he would have to retreat ultimately. It is again absurd to say that except the President, all others should face the law. That would be equal to promulgating another 'Doctrine of Necessity' by granting unnecessary favor to Zardari. There is no room for exceptions in law. Law is equal for all citizens irrespective of their rank and status. That is the basic concept of rule of law. -TAHIR MEHMOOD, Lahore, November 24.