THERE is no marked difference between military regimes and democratic governments when it comes to taking crucial decisions on dictations from the world powers. It is however for the first time that an elected PM has conceded that his government took some difficult and "undemocratic" decisions like the withdrawal of subsidies and passed the burden on to consumers due to international pressure. There is no disputing the fact that democratic leaderships have to take unpopular decisions at times but then Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani would have a few takers for his claim that his government agreed to the removal of subsidies only because economic stability was its top priority. Mr Gilani who was in Karachi on Saturday to attend an iftar-diner hosted by Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ibad had earlier had a meeting with the representatives of the business community. But he might not have been able to satisfy their curiosity on how economy could be galvanized amid the rising cost of energy and other inputs. The PM deftly directed them to the finance and commerce ministers to have their genuine concerns addressed. Mr Gilani had a point in saying that law and order was precarious due to terrorism and extremism but stopped short of elaborating why has the menace spread further on his regime's watch. This government is not only framing its economic policies on pressure from international financial institutions but is also religiously following foreign diktat for combating militancy that has gradually spilled over from the restive tribal region into the settled areas of Pakistan. The country is facing devastating fallout of the so-called War on Terror. The recent blast at Marriott Hotel Islamabad is a pointer in the direction. But so far the government has not been able to figure out whose war it is fighting and at what cost. The Prime Minister seemed genuinely concerned about the economic downslide and rising inflation, which has added further to the miseries of the people but his government cannot escape the blame for not doing anything substantial to redress their grievances. It remained too badly stuck in resolving political squabbles within the ruling coalition to spare time to focus its attention on the matters of governance. It was seen clearly dithering about its promise to revive the rule of law for which the nation had voted it into power. Mr Gilani and his party's leadership will be doing the greatest disservice to the nation by letting the parliament act merely as a rubberstamp as it was during the Musharraf era rather than turning into a sovereign body exercising freedom.