The hearing of the review petition about the Supreme Courts verdict on the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), declaring it null and void continued for the fourth day, Wednesday, with the federations counsel Dr Babar Awan persisting in his defiant mood. His arguments annoyed the court, which repeatedly snubbed him and advised him to keep to the case and not resort to political point scoring; he could hold a press conference later for that purpose. Yet, he kept ignoring the order and as a clinching argument warned the apex court that the government could bring another NRO. Clearly, it was a warning to the court against not upholding the petition. Dr Awan characterised the NRO as an authentic law and challenged the establishment of Swiss cases. When questioned about the specific points on which the federation felt hurt by the NRO decision, he cited some of its paragraphs. Then, pleaded for extending the hearing for two more days to which he was told to finish his arguments by Thursday, adding that the judges had understood the governments point right on the first day of the hearing. There were several instances of altercation between the court and council Awan during the course of the day, as they had occurred on the hearing of the three previous days. President Musharraf, it should be recalled, had been driven to the wall by the successful public movement demanding the restoration of the deposed superior judiciary. And, in collaboration with his Western friends, he concluded the infamous reconciliation agreement under which over 8,000 politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen stood exempted from court proceedings against them in cases of corruption and misgovernance. And as Benazir Bhutto was tragically killed, it paved the way for the present corrupt lot to assume power on the basis of a sympathy vote. Musharrafs quid pro quo was that he remained President at that time and later, managed a safe and honourable exit from the country. The new leadership thus given liberty to indulge in record-breaking corruption, involving billions of rupees, misdeeds and misgovernance, has now brought the countrys economy to total ruin. In defending such an ordinance that was not even ratified by Parliament, it is clear that the government wishes to continue regaling itself It must not forget that even in the eyes of its powerful friends, its shenanigans are becoming indefensible. It must mend its ways before it gets too late