Pakistan lacks genuine political leadership which is the basic requirement for democracy to flourish and its fruits to be delivered to the people, who are supposed to be the power base of electoral democracy. Time has run out for such politics because the patience of people has also run out. In a democratic culture, men who lead political parties are never worshipped like pirs, but are open to public scrutiny and criticism. When political leaders want to behave like demons and address rallies that remind us of similar rallies addressed by fascist leaders like Hitler or Mussolini, than it is cause for concern. Leaders of such political parties have to lead by example and are therefore judged according to a higher code of ethics and propriety than that applicable to common citizens of Pakistan, because if elected they would be in the corridors of power and the policies that they draft will impact lives of millions. Such men have to place all their assets open for public scrutiny and should have no criminal record, drug addiction or any involvement in financial indiscipline. Resort to violence and intimidation as a tool for asserting influence have no place in a democratic political culture. There should be no conflicts of interest such as building industrial empires and increasing their landholdings while in power. Leaders of political parties that form part of a sitting government should be based in Pakistan and all their stakes and assets should be located in Pakistan. Unfortunately most of political parties in this country are being run like fascist parties, where leaders are worshipped and no party worker can dare to differ with him. Almost all major financial corruption scams involving pilferage of billions have a trail that leads to political party leaders sitting in power. Abusing their powers of discretion and laws of land are considered perks of power and there is not even any remorse, or embarrassment when caught red handed. Obstruction of justice is done as a matter of right and show of power. Once elected they want to assume powers of dictators and lose all contact with people, whose votes put them there in the first place. MALIK TARIQ ALI, Lahore, November 2.