IT was shocking, though not surprising, to find Prime Minister Gilani giving two contradictory statements within the space of one day, in two different cities. In Lahore, while attending the GCU Convocation, Gilani declared categorically that the South Waziristan operation was over but the Army may pursue militants in Orakzai Agency next. However, by the time he arrived in Karachi he had altered his statement on the SWA operation, declaring that it was continuing. Such contradictions reveal the inability of the government to give a clear policy on an extremely critical issue. If the Chief Executive is unsure of what his government's policy is, how can there be a viable operational policy and how can the nation have confidence in the government led by such a confused PM? Just when we were beginning to think Gilani was acquiring a more statesmanlike approach to his leadership, he reveals the lack of clarity and confusion that besets his government. If the civilian leadership is unaware of the military's policies, then it is clearly not in control. That means it has washed its hands off the so-called "war on terror's" direction; which would explain why there is no political follow up to the military action as it clears areas where the state should be asserting its political writ. It can hardly do that, though, if it does not even know how the operations are being directed. Again, it is this very reason that is allowing the US a field day with its drone killings of Pakistanis, its unchecked use of Pakistani territory in Balochistan and its constant threats. The political government is unable to operationalise a cohesive policy on counter terrorism and the military does not want to show it is trampling on the civil domain of policy making, so the net result is no strategic direction but merely a tactical and seemingly directionless military operation. Worse still, if there is this ignorance within the civil leadership, must this ignorance be displayed to the nation, thereby adding to the sense of insecurity that already prevails in the country? Unfortunately the impression that the government is in disarray and there is no effective governance is getting stronger, despite some positive policy decisions such as the NFC Award and Gilani's Balochistan outreach. However, at the end of the day, decisions in themselves are only a beginning and unless they are implemented, they cannot be an alternative to a government's actual performance. This is where the present political leadership is failing on all fronts. It is time for the Prime Minister to actually take charge of his government and ensure that there is cohesion in policy formulation and implementation. The supremacy of the political can only be achieved by hands-on political governance.