AT a time when the nation is confronting problems of basic survival and living under the shadow of the threat of terrorism, seeing the head of state cloistered in safety, unwilling to face the people directly, was hardly a comforting image. President Zardari was addressing from the Presidency the PPP loyalists long distance in Sindh on Wednesday. However, if the image was negative, the message was far worse. There was no mention of the struggle being waged against terrorism, the crises being dealt with and the challenges being confronted. No mention was made of the soldiers dying in FATA, the actions against militancy or the promise of removing the constitutional anomalies imposed by dictators. All talk of reconciliation and compromise were also thrown by the wayside. There was nothing statesmanlike at all; in fact there was nothing rational either. He derided the Quaid's Pakistan and lashed out at everyone in the hysterical manner of another party leader living in exile. The Presidential harangue was personal bordering on abusive and in almost undignified manner he took on the media and other opponents using base language and reducing his presidential stature to the level of local street brawlers. The irony is that the President's problems are all self-created. He has failed to deliver on all fronts and on all commitments. So much so that there now exists a huge trust deficit between him and almost everyone else. The main opposition leadership is now reluctant to even meet him because of the run around Mian Nawaz Sharif has been given by him on issues like the Charter of Democracy and the constitutional amendments. The goodwill and leeway Zardari had when he became president was almost unprecedented but he has lost it rapidly. Unable to improve the lot of the people; unwilling to move substantively on political issues; and totally tied in to a suspicious US agenda; the Presidency shows no leadership, only intrigue. Given how this was a rare Presidential address, it was a wasted opportunity. The nation needed to see a leader in control who would inform them of the policies of the government aimed at leading the country out of its crises. They wanted to be comforted by seeing a leader incharge of things. Instead what they got was a beleaguered leader, yelling at his opponents, hurling accusations at all and sundry but saying nothing of consequence. He may have been addressing a partisan PPP crowd but his audience was the whole nation and beyond. He did no one proud.