Despite the agreement between the country's two leading political parties, the controversy raging between Asif Ali Zardari and the rest of the democratic forces led by Nawaz Sharif produced this week the unbelievable admission by the PPP Co-Chairman about the causation of his opposition to the restoration of the deposed Chief Justice. To any neutral observer it seems manifest that Musharraf has resurrected himself through the actions and ideas of Zardari. In two interviews given to the BBC on the 28th April and to a local private network on the 29th April he said (1) the judiciary was impotent since he was rotting in jail for eight years without any meaningful judicial scrutiny, (2) that five times did Chief Justice decline him bail, (3) that the people who voted for the PPP did so for the economic betterment and not for judge's recall, (4) that the 30 days declaration was nothing more than merely a political statement, not really binding on him and (5) most astonishingly that the PPP ascendancy at this time to power was because of agreements made by BB  with foreign powers. In terms of historical significance this admission of culpability must rank as the unbelievable. Each of these reasons is not good enough to lead him to deny what the people of Pakistan are manifestly desperate to obtain. It is equally simply mind boggling how openly he admitted that foreign countries were privy to the "deal" through which the PPP was allowed to victory in the February 18th Elections. Such open acknowledgement is unprecedented even in banana republics and cannot possibly go well with the poor yet honorable people of the country. Why he admitted as much? Presumably to acknowledge a debt to those who were helpful to him even after the main character that had apparently entered those deals was tragically assassinated in December. However, the manner of the eventual announcement of the date of restoration of judges from Lahore on 2nd May following five days of talks in Dubai is the clearest exhibition of inexcusable culpa of the political powers connected with the PPP. A scheduled meeting between Zardari and Nawaz Sharif on 25th April in Islamabad was postponed since the latter became unavailable on account of Zardari's sudden departure for Dubai. Sensing that the lawyers community composed of the elected representatives of various bar associations and the human rights NGOs connected with this cause led by the Save Judiciary Committee under the leadership of Rasheed Qureshi were counting every day promised for this epoch making occurrence, PML N decided to continue the parleys in Dubai. Starting with a delegation of the PML N leaders and ending with Nawaz Sharif himself there were marathon sessions on this point. Why did the PPP endure this process after the simple agreement on this point in the Murree Declaration of 9th March 2008? Regrettably it seems that Zardari and the PPP were gradually reneging out the promise to restore the judiciary unconstitutionally removed by Musharraf on 3rd November 2007. Eventually it was announced in Lahore by Nawaz Sharif that 12th May had been set as the date of moving this restoration resolution in the parliament. Surprisingly the PPP never disputed this but by their collective actions it showed that it would not really like to have this matter resolved like this. These two interviews revealed to the people of the country the kind of leadership Zardari is going to provide to the people of Pakistan and the different facets of the person in whose hands the destiny of this country now formally lies. Not only was the Murree Declaration formally signed by the two top leaders in front of the media, it was also read out with emphasis at the press conference held after signing that deal. There was no mention of any constitutional package and its linkage with the judges' restoration in the Murree Declaration but now Zardari has conveniently changed his stance to the surprise of the traumatized people of Pakistan. Another matter that has somehow escaped public and media scrutiny is the total oblivion of the president of the party, Amin Fahim.On the third day of Benazir Bhutto's assassination, Zardari announced that Makhdoom Amin Fahim would be the party's candidate for the office of the prime minister. However it seems he was dropped eventually because of his presumed links with Musharraf. Zardari thereafter nominated the incumbent Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani for the slot. However, the recent support of Musharraf's position regarding the PCO judges and the delay in restoration of deposed judges shows that perhaps being pro-Musharraf was not really the cause behind the dumping of Amin Fahim. But would it be correct to say that by such vivid procrastination after agreement on the judges' matter Zardari followed in the footsteps of Musharraf, who had announced in January 2004 that by 31st December 2004 he would doff his uniform but he actually did it only in November 2007. Is this a pattern being emulated? These latest interviews of Zardari showed yet a few more commonalities between him and Musharraf. One of such commonality is that they both dislike deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. While Musharraf has been repeatedly using harsh language against Justice Iftikhar since the last year's judicial crisis, Zardari has lately opened up. Quote clearly both the PPP and Musharraf have their own fears from an independent judiciary. But it did hurt Zardari to say such things about the person of the Chief Justice, who whatever his faults, is still admired by most in Pakistan for his strength and courage while standing up to a dictator. According to the BBC, Bhutto and Zardari had assets over 1.8 billion dollars in several countries which stood frozen on the request of Islamabad and are now apparently free from restraint. Besides there were serious cases against many others from PPP, now a part of the hierarchy, as well who have benefited. There is a long list of beneficiaries from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), which also got thousands of criminal cases closed under the NRO. The number of the MQM people, who benefited from this unique "law", is more than those of the PPP. But the PPP beneficiaries are politically more high profile than all others. To translate the understanding reached with Benazir Bhutto for "reconciliation", Musharraf had promulgated the NRO on Oct 5, 2007, a day before his re-election, to tell her that he had kept his part of the deal. It was because of this unprecedented presidential ordinance that the PPP had not boycotted the presidential election. There may be other reasons that prevented Zardari to have the same opinion with the PML-N on the restoration of the deposed judges. But the fear of the NRO hitting these leaders again has been most dominant. The PPP's is thus terrified that deposed Chief Justice would turn out to be too dangerous for the NRO beneficiaries as he would be judicious in approach to do justice to the corrupt. A number of PPP leading lights might land in jail again if the new apex court opens up the "closed chapter" of the NRO. At this point it may appear that Zardari is holding PPP hostage in this conflict of attitudes regarding the restoration of the judiciary. The non-PCO judges are still judges and must be allowed to return to work. It is a moment of tragedy and great shame for the people that the great Bhutto legacy of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto has become hostage to the current PPP leaders' laborious drive for getting richer at the expense of the country and norms of decency. Even sadder is the fact that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was a victim of judicial murder under the threat of Zia on the judges and Zardari is still not restoring the judges who refused to listen to a dictator. If this judiciary is not restored it may never happen for another 60 years for the judiciary to become independent. Our politicians further keep on dividing us to satiate their lust for power. No wonder Pakistan is frequently labeled as failed state and the confidence of people in their government's completely shaken and shattered. However, the coming generations of leaders must build upon this current struggle of the legal fraternity, though our belief in the constitution has imbibed these ideals. The gap between ideals and reality has increased over the years thanks to petty political interests of people like Musharraf who want to retain the power unlawfully assumed at the tremendous cost of future of the country. We have as a nation wasted last eight years in the process of constitution making with the solitary aim of keeping Musharraf in office. In the US Martin Luther King Jr. launched a civil rights movement; we have to launch a civil rights movement to make our democracy truly indicative of changing our hearts and minds. The present lawyers' struggle would rank in my opinion along side such moments of recent history of freedom and human rights. It is thus always a possibility that recent ambivalence of Zardari to the judges' issue may be the consequence of immense pressure from his external contacts and of course Musharraf. If this is true, the only way he can salvage is to openly admit his weaknesses. Finally he should along with his other PPP colleagues voluntarily give up the benefits of this NRO and hope that electorate is able to understand this lapse of proprieties of the PPP. However as I see it, the PPP has been irreparably damaged and PMLN has benefited by this obvious political miscalculation of Zardari. I would advise the PMLN to go for the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly after this judges' issue is resolved to which they would return to with may be even 100 % of seats and also for the bigger goal of forming the national government in Islamabad in the days ahead. Nawaz Sharif now towers over his opponents; it is due to his candor and courage in tackling with the effects of dictatorship, their cronies and by giving a dismayed public a glimmer of hope. On Saturday the Pakistan Bar Council asserted not to accept the PCO judges and I think there is justice in saying that Zardari is plainly wrong to equate those that suffered on the 3rd November with those that grew immensely in worldly possessions by saying yes to a dictator's call. This is the fundamental difference between the PCO and non-PCO judges. Nawaz Sharif may accept them unwillingly as he said in London but the lawyers, civil society and independent thinkers like me would not like such injustice perpetuated.