November 3, 2007 was one of the darkest days in the history of Pakistan when sixty judges were forcibly removed and the CJ was put under house arrest along with his family. It could also be considered as one of the finest days as it united the people, rekindled hope, initiated the fight for an independent judiciary and started a massive movement against the army rule resulting in the ouster of Musharraf. While the world has recognised the Lawyers Movement, the Parliament almost one year later has dashed the hopes of 160 million people of Pakistan because of its minus one formula. This article looks at the rise and fall of this complex and fascinating movement. It started when Justice Iftikhar refused to bow down to the intense gruelling in the President's camp office. Musharraf sent a flimsy reference to the Supreme Judicial Council in March 2007 which after a legal battle was thrown out. On November 2 Aitzaz filed an application stating that the government may change the composition of the Bench by adopting extra-constitutional measures which could mean either by martial law, PCO or emergency. On November 3 at 6:15 pm the seven deposed Supreme Court (SC) judges passed an order on the application restraining the government from undertaking any action which is contrary to the independence of the judiciary. The same evening the judges were put under house arrest. Later Justice Dogar passed a short order justifying the November 3 Order. The NRO which benefited many, destroyed the transition to genuine democracy and ridiculed the accountability process was also added to the short Order by the judges. The mayhem which followed these events included the police dragging the CJ by the hair, caravan of the CJ with thousands of people lined on the road, boycott of the PCO judges and courts, May 12 carnage, amendments in PEMRA Ordinance, closing of TV channels, tear gas, etc. The judiciary's sacking is attributed to the judicial activism involving cases of missing persons, steel mill case, improper use of farm houses in Chak Shahzad and others. Legally a SC decision can only be reversed by the SC or through an Act of Parliament and not through a resolution or executive order. If the November 3 action is considered illegal, then all actions taken in the country since that day including the election and all SC decisions would have to be reversed unless they are protected by Parliament. This is the legal dilemma. The movement's popularity was its clear one point objective of restoration of the judiciary. As the movement was not politically motivated there was an unprecedented countrywide support for civil society and ordinary citizens. The pent up feelings against the long army rule also added fuel. The full support of the media giving a minute by minute account proved a boon for the lawyers. Initially the opposition political parties were conspicuous by their absence because of fear of the army. Later the Murree and Islamabad declarations were signed between the PPP and the PML-N which required that the judges be restored through a simple resolution. Zardari backtracked on both occasions resulting in the break up of the coalition. Nawaz made restoration of the judges his main election agenda. He has been steadfast but at the same time he is not openly challenging the government. Imran and Qazi Hussain are to be commended for their total support. However, the sacking and non-restoration of the judges has had a serious impact on the governance as the most important pillar of state has been demolished. The judiciary has been totally mauled, divided, politicised and demoralised. The working of the judiciary has been adversely affected given the pro- and anti-democratic grouping within the Supreme Court. The latest Justice Dogar's case has added a new dimension to the whole movement the ramifications of which are yet to be felt. Peoples' trust in the higher judiciary especially relating to cases concerning the constitution, Article 6, elections, human rights, high profile corruption cases and anti-establishment cases has vanished. The negative, indolent and sedentary role of the political parties and the Parliament does not bode well for strengthening democracy in Pakistan. The current political parties entrenched with leaders having a checkered past cannot be expected to protect the constitution, rights of the citizens, follow the path of good governance or provide roti, kapra and makan. The forum of the Supreme Judicial Council failed and a new mechanism is now required. The appointment of honest, competent, and apolitical judges critical for the independence of the judiciary is not possible under the current set-up. Return of Executive magistracy and other events indicate that instead of healing the scars even deeper wounds may be inflicted on the judiciary in future. In conclusion the "Lawyer's Movement" fully supported by the people, civil society and media overcame dictatorial forces but lost to conniving democratic forces in restoring the judiciary to its November 2 position. It seems 'democracy' is taking revenge on the people. The writer is a former member of the National Reconstruction Bureau E-mail: