FINALLY, the Prime Minister has put to rest the widespread speculations about the governments sincerity in carrying out, in all its respects, the Supreme Court judgment that nullified the totally discriminatory National Reconciliation Ordinance. Speaking on the floor of the National Assembly on Wednesday, he made it clear that while the Law Ministry had been advised to reopen the cases in the NAB, there was no justification for making any move to reopen the case against the President in a Swiss court since he enjoyed immunity under the Constitution. Thus, the pessimists, who did not give much credence to the remarks Mr Gilani had made earlier, following the court order, in which he held out the assurance that the judgement would be implemented in full, once again turned out to be right, as they have been so many times in the brief history of Pakistan. In fact, the utterances and attitude of government and PPP leaders since the court decison, have been marked by defiance. Mr Gilani also left those legal experts unconvinced, who are of the view that not only is the presidential immunity not a blanket privilege and is tied to certain conditions; but also it is irrelevant as far as Switzerland is concerned. Non-compliance with the court verdict, which clearly directs the government to reopen the case in the Swiss court, cannot be viewed with equanimity, and the words of Mr Gilani that the government has full respect for the judiciary and its decisions would look bizarrely inconsistent. Though a major cause of a likely clash between the executive and the judiciary, the non-implementation of the NRO verdict is not the only one. The disagreement over the appointment of judges, which is the courts prerogative in the ultimate analysis, would tend to create, if nothing else, distrust between the two. It is not clear what the scenario portends for the country though it certainly points to uneasy times, if not turbulent days, ahead. The mere rhetoric of 'respect to the judiciary and 'full implementation of its orders, while the actual actions underline the contrary, would not be able to avert some sort of a clash, though Mr Gilani and many others discount such a possibility. Should the government continue to take shelter behind the immunity clause, without getting a clear verdict from the apex court about this position that some legal experts consider necessary, it would have serious consequences. The Prime Minister seems to be challenging the Supreme Court by saying that he does not feel apologetic for asserting the immunity clause, as he interprets it. Someone has also initiated a case questioning the eligibility of Mr Zardari as president. It all depends upon how the apex court reacts to this complex situation and how the government responds.