Democracy has been exposed as a sham benefiting the manipulators, the feudals, the Party stalwarts, reaping the rewards of being part of a winning side. The public is also inured to this fact of life, that the crumbs to be cast their way will come from a rotten political system that wears a cloak of democracy. Even these crumbs are tainted as being the leftovers from the pie of the statethe bulk plundered from the welfare and development funds that should have been spent on the welfare and development for the people. The Land Cruisers, the Pajeros at 10million Rupees a throw, are from these same funds. The Robbing Hoods are the current parliamentary system of power in Pakistan. The pilferage, is from government funds, which are intended for the building of schools, power stations, water supply lines, education - everything that should be used to alleviate the suffering of the poor - is being siphoned off to make the rich richer at the cost of the already wretched poor. Every Land Cruiser in the Parliamentary parking lot, many without number plates, are a brazen testimony to the flaunting of the money looted by the peoples representatives. There is no remorse or shame by these people when driving through crowds who are subsisting, only just, on their one dollar a day. The shame or remorse is lost on the Darlings of the Prime Minister who having been exposed as submitting fake degrees to the Election Commissioner (an offence that carries a sentence of three years) was actively campaigned for by a supportive Prime Minister, and was re-elected to Parliament. This has been touted as a vindication of the 'poor persecuted MNA. Instead of being held up as an example of the judiciary not doing its job. How did the Election Commission not charge Mr Dasti for submitting a fake degree? Instead of his enjoying the comforts of his air-conditioned Land Cruiser, matters should have been different if he had to spend three years in Multan prison. This would have a sobering effect on the other aspiring MNAs, especially those with dodgy papers. As I have written in earlier pieces, corruption exists in every country, but once they are caught the might of the law takes its toll, setting an example for others to avoid any such behaviour. The Election Commission should have been pulled up on this issue, and the Prime Minister, for setting the wrong example. The nation has to be taken towards the rule of law and not to encourage law breakers. The Supreme Court could study the behaviour of the Election Commission in this instance, for without a decision to punish Dasti for wrongdoing, the poor voters, who did vote for their candidate Dasti, would not have done so if charges had been filed and the votes would have gone to a more deserving candidate. My Lords, this is an example of the judiciary having failed to do its duty, worse, enabling corruption to walk through the front door of our August National Assembly. He has since been indicted for an attack on doctors and nurses by his cohorts recentlysurely this should be noticed by the members of the Assembly? It is time that the 'soft friendly opposition should wake up and uphold the law. The restoration of the judges, with both Nawaz, and recently the PPP, claiming that they had in fact restored the judiciary, it would be a giant leap forward if both parties could drop their support for such a candidate. Perhaps, it is too much to hope for. In the meantime the Pakistani poor will continue to be robbed, by the modern day Robbing Hoods who are legitimised by the NRO, or the elected membership to Parliaments getting them immunity from prosecution, which seems to be de rigueur nowadays. The way this immunity is discussed, it seems that this is a cloak to be worn with pride and not the shame that should follow it. The same applies to the Presidential pardon to Rahman Malik. Surely, his pardon and the shame that should be attached, by virtue of his being a convict of the crime he has been pardoned for, should not have him strutting on the political stage. He should be sent away to some island unseen and unheard. A long jail term might come his way, as there are a few more convictions to follow. It would be interesting to examine if there is a limit to the number of pardons the President can bestow. However, our band of Robbing Hoods will continue to besmirch our land, and our Parliaments. The writer is a political analyst.