Shakespeare said, "There is a tide in the affairs of men," and if it is encountered with courage and fortitude, the tide is transformed into a positive outcome, or else into chaos and calamity. The political tide is surging in Pakistan and there are perceptible symptoms that people, particularly the expanding middle class, has come to realise that military rulers and their remnants are anachronistic in the present day civilised existence. They have an image of a "glorious" Pakistan, adhering to the "spirit", which led to its creation, by the father of the nation - Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. If anything was repugnant to his cultured sensibility, it was dictatorial governance, either civil or military. He was a thorough-bred constitutionalist and the entire struggle for the creation of Pakistan was based on democratic norms and values. Pakistan's recurrent derailment of democracy and over thirty years of nation's life into military rule has stripped the nation of its finer values, the sanctity of its institutions, and worst of all its image in the world, got tarnished as a state incapable of being governed through a viable democratic process. We must strive to remove the shackle of slavish compliance to a military ruler. Once for all. The movement for restoration of the deposed judges, is a turning point in the history of Pakistan's Political Culture. The placid and indifferent attitude of the masses towards dictatorial rule, was being exploited by all the military rulers, notwithstanding General Pervez Musharraf, who surpassed all limits of propriety for the perpetuation of his rule, imposing two martial laws, during his 9-year rule, the last one under the covert name of Emergency dismissing nearly sixty judges of the Supreme Court including the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, representing the sanctity of justice in the society. First he made him non-functional on frivolous charges and subjecting him the worst possible treatment - a police constable pushing him into a car and even pulling him by his hairs - an obnoxious and a deplorable scene, which the entire world witnessed: With no sensitivity towards any one, under the so called Emergency, he got him house arrested along with his family, even children were not spared. The other judges were also arrested and kept in confinement. The judges of his own liking were appointed, under a judicial aberration called PCO, who legitimised all the "wrongs" he committed - the constitution was mercilessly tampered with oblivious of the fact that the constitution is a much too precious document, which binds a nation into a cohesive entity. The pernicious legacy of Martial Law makes mockery of justice if Law of Necessity and PCO, are not dispensed with. The cumulative impact of over thirty years of military rule has now stirred the people to rise from their stupor. The lawyers were the catalyst and now the entire civil society has come to realise; "enough is enough" no more of dictatorial rule - military or civil. Real democracy is the ultimate destiny of Pakistan. The February 18 election results testify how wisely people have voted for moderate and relatively liberal members in the national as well as provincial assemblies. It refutes the mischievous allegation that "extremists" are rampant in the society, and whenever people have spoken through ballots, they have invariably gone for the middle-of-the-roaders. The phenomenal Long March beginning on June 10 and culminating near the parliament in Islamabad on June 13, comprising several lacs of people is a watershed event in the political history of Pakistan. Such a peaceful crowd is hardly seen in the collective movements. One must give rich tributes to the people as well as organisers of this mega event. Public demonstrations are the necessary parts of democratic culture. Only the dictators perceive it as a threat to their autocratic rule and dub it as a law and order problem. When the Hindu idea was reluctant to concede to the demands of the Muslims, Quaid-e-Azam gave orders for "direct action." That is the last resort of protest. The Long March only communicated the message: Restore the sacked judges to the positions they held on November 3, 2007 and a message to the president to relinquish his post. Failure to comply with these, will not only go against the norms of democracy, but may prove a prelude to greater disaster. All the observers of social movements would testify that people's demands must be honoured, lest the silent revolution, assumes a ghastly shape. Therefore, it would be prudent that the Long March should not be taken lightly. It is a precursor to the same renaissance which led to the creation of Pakistan. People are now wide-awake and cannot be hoodwinked through contrived manipulations by the forces, who want to keep our country destabilised. But the people's power is mightier than any force. Ali Shariati, a great Muslim philosopher of Iran says, "Islam is the first school of thought that recognises the masses as the basis, the fundamental and conscious factor in determining history and society not the elect as Nietzsche thought not the aristocracy or nobility as Plato claimed, not great personalities as Carlyle and Emerson believed, not those of pure blood as Alexis Carrel imagined, not the priests or intellectuals, but the masses. (On the sociology of Islam, p.49) The Holy Book Quran makes "Alnas" the prime mover of social change or motor of history. There are trends reflective of a psychological defence mechanism of Denial, which takes the Long March, or public demonstrations as if no consequence, in order to fulfil their egoistic needs - the status-quo maintenance as a protective shield - ultimately proves a self-defeating game. To cognise the emerging "will" of the people, the rage in their eyes and the passion for change is the only desired option leading to actualisation of the people's sentiments which harmonise with supreme national interest. No respectable edifice of justice can be built unless justice is delivered to the "chief justice" and others, who defied the unconstitutional steps of the then army chief now (retired) General Pervez Musharraf. By countering the wrong, through an executive order, would serve as deterrence against such unpatriotic acts. It is heartening that the new leadership of the Army is fully cognisant of the supreme need to let democracy prevail in the country even though there may be rough stages in the beginning, due to the antinomian legacy of the past. It is in the functioning of democracy that lies the cure of democracy. There are a quite number of Pakistan watchers in India and abroad and by and large, they "perceive" what they wish to "perceive" objectivity being the casualty. But these are always some conscientious observers too. In the Exclusive edition of Tehekla, a New Delhi magazine (March 2008, Vol. 5, issue 9) carries an article titled On the Long Road to Freedom Finally, by William Dalrymple, while affirms that suppressed democracy has resurfaced in Pakistan, and that "the event of 18th of February 2008, would change the history of South Asia, on that day. The Pakistanis showed that they wanted the ability to choose their own rulers, and determine their own future. To ensure this they voted for a change that would send the military back to their barracks." The author out-rightly dismisses the propaganda that Pakistan was a failed state, nor anything near what Spectator, proclaimed "the most dangerous country in the world ... almost beyond repair." Pakistan is in the throes of change, and it now has almost 50 percent urban population and the centre of gravity is shifting from the countryside to the large cities. The "feudal-military" collusion is very much on the wane, but unfortunately "Indians generally seem remarkably ill-informed about the changes which are quietly but profoundly changing Pakistani society..." In the same magazine is an interview with Michael Kreplon, an expert on Asia, on the question of General (retd) Musharraf's fate, tells that "America's interests lie in Musharraf's quick exist." This, he thinks, because the General (retd) is "part of the problem not the solution." PPP would be well advised to honour the looming trends, and should have paid the best birthday gift to the assassinated leader Benazir Bhutto by fulfilling what she promised by restoring the judges and not contaminate them with the PCO-breed - a remnant of the past. She had a very sharp perception of the political tide and had reconciled herself to facilitate it and not go against it. Perhaps, that was the reason she was eliminated by the regressive forces. Justice and Justice alone ensures the stability of social order and a deterrence against crime. George Saville, a British Statesman very rightly said, "Men are not hanged for stealing horses but that horses may not be stolen." The writer is a researcher and political analyst E-mail: fr786pak@isb.comsats.net.pk