Launching himself into politics with a flourish on Thursday, PPP Chairman Bilawal Zardari promised to defend democracy and defeat extremism. He also had a dig at the superior judiciary for failing to adjudicate in his mother Benazir Bhutto’s murder case. He was addressing a huge crowd of party workers and supporters that had gathered at Garhi Khuda Bux on the occasion of Benazir’s 5th death anniversary that fell on December 27. Bilawal, speaking with consummate, but studied, skill in Urdu, surprised most Pakistanis who had believed that he lacked the ease of expression in the language and would, thus, fail to make an impact.One would have wished, though, that he had concentrated only on serious issues the country was facing and stopped short of lashing out at the judiciary on his maiden appearance to avoid leaving a bad impression. His commitment to defend the institution of democracy and eradicate the scourge of terrorism – no doubt, two vital issues requiring focused attention on government’s part – has to be appreciated. In this context, it was right to talk of the militants’ base design to deprive the children of the country of their right to education, exemplified by the attack of Malala Yousafzai, and throw the country into the abyss of darkness. The anti-democracy forces trying to halt the democratic process on the plea that the five years’ of its functioning has witnessed corruption and bad governance and hardly anything good for the people at large must be fought. For any break in the process would prove disastrous for the polity. The general public’s suffering found little mention in Bilawal’s address. The vague assurance that the PPP’s task would not be complete till the people had been provided with roti, kapra and makan was hardly enough. The ever rising spiral of inflationary pressures have driven a large number of them to hunger and privation, with all the attendant ills: poor healthcare and education for their children, for instance. Even the well off have to cut corners in their effort to keep the façade of sufficiency.As for the PPP Chairman’s criticism of the judiciary is concerned, the fact is that it is basically the failure of the prosecution to present the case with credible evidence before the judges to enable them to come to a conclusion. The PPP-led government that was expected to expedite the investigation work handled the case in a manner that left a lot to be desired. It swept under the carpet the findings of UN experts whose services it had itself sought. Despite the fact that fingers had begun to be pointed at General Musharraf before he went abroad, it not only let him off, but also gave him a respectable send-off with a guard of honour. Interpol that has been approached to get him back in the country has declined to do for the simple reason that proof of his involvement has been lacking in substance. The case has been lying in limbo except for a desultory handling of it.We must acknowledge, however, that Bilawal Zardari has entered the political arena with a bang, sending waves of surprise across the land. One only hopes that under his youthful leadership the party’s sagging standing would be reversed and if he gets into power he would sincerely work on the agenda he has presented before the nation.