The unanimous passage of 18th amendment to the constitution is a landmark development in the chequered political experience of Pakistan .This is a golden moment and celebrations are well-deserved for this poor nation has finally achieved constitutional balance after reeling for decades under the odious Law of Necessity. Congratulations to all democratic forces They showed the courage to admit their mistakes and, consequently, changed the course of history. That is a good omen for democracy. Pakistan has returned to the rule of law once again. The nation never had a constitution till 1973 and once made, it was abrogated in 1977. It has taken a full 33 years to restore the constitution of 1973, an alarming statistic in that it shows we enjoyed a genuine constitution for no more than four years of our history. For the remaining period of 59 years, the country has remained under the praetorian Law of Necessity interspersed by short spans of 'controlled democracy under a mutilated and gagged constitution. The non-democratic forces have been calling the shots for more than 90 percent of the entire lifespan of this country. What do we have to do ensure that it never happens again? Perhaps, to make a clean break from the past, our civil & military bureaucracy should tender an apology to the nation on this occasion for stymieing the political development of Pakistan. The apology, if it were to happen, would add to the prestige of guardians of the frontiers of Pakistan. An unambiguous statement by the Armed Forces of Pakistan and their counterparts in the civilian bureaucratic structure, confessing their past mistakes and resolving that they would never again derail the democratic process in future. Think of what a boost for the national confidence it would be and how much the democratic dispensation would be bolstered with it? This is the minimum they owe to the nation. -B. A. MALIK, Islamabad, April 9.