WASHINGTON: - Justice Rana Bhagwandas, a former judge of Pakistan's Supreme Court, says that lack of political will was the main hindrance in the efforts to restore the superior judges deposed by President Pervez Musharraf. Answering questions after addressing the annual convention of Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) in Dallas, Texas, over the weekend, he also said there was no need of any constitutional amendment to re-instate the pre-emergency judiciary, according to a press release circulated by the association. In this context, justice Baghwandas, who received a standing ovations from a jam-packed house, cited the verdict of the full bench of the Supreme Court on November 3, 2007 that ordered the government machinery, including civilian and army officials, not to obey illegal orders and restrained judges from taking oath under any PCO. In his speech, he said that in a country like Pakistan where the majority of the people living in rural areas in poverty, ignorance and oppression do not have the means and the capacity to approach the superior courts for enforcement of their rights, the courts themselves started taking notice on matters of public importance relating to the rights of the people. Those actions, he said, were "unfortunately branded as unwarranted judicial activism." "An independent judiciary is an essential pre-requisite for the survival of democracy itself, like a representative Legislature and an accountable Executive, Baghwandas said. "In this day and age a representative democracy does not mean that people simply choose their rulers for a given term and abdicate complete authority to them to govern them the way they feel like. The elected representatives are merely the trustees of the people and all authority conferred is to be exercised for the benefit of the people. The Legislature must make laws within the limits set out in the Constitution, the Executive Government formed by the majority group of the Legislature must act within the framework of the law and the Constitution and all power has to be exercised for the welfare of the people. An independent judiciary is required to ensure that the Legislature has acted within the framework of the Constitution and not invaded the fundamental rights guaranteed to  the individuals protected by the Constitution. It must also see that the Executive has not merely acted within the framework of the law made by the Legislature but it has acted honestly, fairly and justly and in the public interest in the exercise of its powers. The courts do not assume the powers of the Executive. Nevertheless, they keep a very strict vigilance over the exercise of such powers." He said,  "The crude attempts like dissolution of the Constituent Assembly in 1954, the delay in holding elections under 1956 Constitution, the coup deta't of 1958 followed by authoritarian rule, Martial Laws of General Yahya Khan, General Ziaul Haq and hypocritical suspension of Constitution by General Pervez Musharraf resulting in the perpetuation of his power hungry Government, were aimed at thwarting the way for a popularly elected Government and the administration of a democratic Constitution. An ambitious Government servant had the audacity to dismiss an elected Prime Minister and remove Judges of superior Courts at will and get away with his own statement that his action was extra Constitutional. Irony doesn't end here, the hand picked judges not only let him off but certified that he was not at fault for his wrong action; it was the activism of the Supreme Court that compelled him to take such action and therefore the action was validated. "How much can one lament, the judiciary is guardian of legality, it means rule following reduction of arbitrariness on the part of officials."