Pakistan 's liberation from military rule, is a momentous step forward to steer an "identity", which is sublime, graceful and the quintessential imperative of our civilised existence. No doubt, the nation stoically endured authoritarian rule with apathy and sense of indignation but the covert "will" for restoration of democratic governance never got impaired, which found its splendid expression on February 18, 2008. It was a reassertion of the implicit faith the nation reposes in "participatory political culture", the hallmark of the struggle for freedom, popularly called Pakistan movement. Our true aspirations, cultural values and norms, congruent to our cherished faith - Islam - could not be achieved in the "Indian model of democracy", where Hindus would have been a permanent majority, whereas Muslims an unalterable minority. Democratic system on the other hand in Pakistan would have no such in-built prejudicial predicament. Quaid-e-Azam brilliantly fought the constitutional battle, based on the power of the ballot, to establish Pakistan, but it was possible as there existed a symbiotic relationship between peoples' will and Quaid's masterly conceived strategy. A leader is essentially a follower. He cannot transgress entirely from the wishes of the people. Pakistan symbolised a modern liberal democratic polity, the basic inspiration emanating from Islam, the bastion of our identity, adhering to the lofty ideals of piety, tolerance for diversity, and unequivocal commitment to justice. There was no radicalism, fundamentalism, theocracy, or dogmatism. Liberal values of moderation tolerance, accommodation were the hallmark of the polity - which Quaid-e-Azam had in mind, which only the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan could determine. He never wanted any imposition, as it was repugnant to participatory paradigm of governance. Numerous examples abound how democratic values were firmly internalised in his personality structure. Once Mountbatten wanted a prompt answer as what would be his stand towards a common Governor Generalship, in the event India was partitioned into two dominions for the initial period. He argued that, as Congress had given its consent, he (Mr Jinnah) should also promptly give his decision. To this demand, Quaid-e-Azam did not agree to give an instant reply. He said he would first solicit his party's advisory members' views and only then he would give his final answer. Mountbatten, rather rudely said, "In that event, he [Mr. Jinnah] would lose the demand for Pakistan." Mr Jinnah, promptly retorted: "Whatever must be, must be." Mountbatten had to concede. Mr Jinnah never imposed his decisions, save in situations, where he was empowered to do so. Quaid had a "vision" of Pakistan which our myopic politicians could never properly assess the imperative of integrating the nation through a viable political culture, which could ensure very harmonious relations with our "East Pakistani brethren." Surely, India played a very sinister role in psychologically manipulating a theme: "West Pakistan was treating East Pakistan as its colony." Nothing was done to counter the systematic propaganda that India had launched. The enemy capitalised on the vulnerabilities which were of our own making. Our East Pakistani brethren did feel politically alienated. Why blame India? No one realised that the imposition of Martial Laws only served the interests of powerful elite, whose number went on swelling from 22 families to now 2200 or more. The poor remained where he was at the birth of Pakistan. All the talk about "trickle down economy" had notoriously been a deceptive "hope" for the "Wretched of the Earth." Grossly insensitive were our policy framers to the desire of Quaid-e-Azam, who quite unequivocally expressed the need to alter the plight of the poor, if Pakistan came into being: "Here I should like to give a warning to the land lords and the capitalists who flourished at our expense, by a system which is so vicious, which is so wicked and which makes them so selfish that it is difficult to reason with them, exploitation of the masses has gone into their blood. They have forgotten the lessons of Islam. Greed and selfishness have made these people subordinate to the interests of others in order to fatten themselves. It is true we are not in power today. You go anywhere to the countryside. I have visited villages." Implicit is the idea that after Pakistan came into existence, the poor would cease to be very impoverished. This dream remain unrealised. Landlords, capitalists, he thought would be tamed and controlled so that they could no longer exploit them. The expansion of democratic norms and practices has been explored by Stein Rokhan, in the small European countries. He identified four "locks" or thresholds in the process of democratisation if "successfully surmounted in sequence," ensured the stability of democratic system. These are, according to him, the essential thresholds - the legitimisation (which is right of petition and demonstrate against the regime); incorporation (rights of participation in the choice of representation for new groups); representation (access of representatives of new groups to legislative institutions, and executive power (access of new groups to the instruments of governance) (Quoted in Political Culture and Democracy in Developing Countries, ed by Larry Diamond p 40). Unfortunately in Pakistan, the four locks and thresholds could not be transcended. Selections were made through agencies and true representation were denied through organised rigging and assemblies only served as rubber-stamps. Executive power remained overly centralised and people were hardly involved in the process of governance and decision making. Right of dissent and demonstration were considered law and order problems and repressive measure were used to curb demonstrations even involving respectable and educated people like, lawyers. In other words, authoritarian regimes were the Killers of democratic stability. They hardly blend together. Civilian governments also violated the norms of democracy, but the continuous elections from 1947 onwards, would have ensured democratic stability. Democracy hardly ever comes full-blown. Even Anglo Saxon democracy took several decades to stabilise. Lamenting past is a futile exercise. Now, people through a silent revolution have given an unequivocal message: never derail democracy through Army intervention. Luckily the new leadership of the army is fully alive to this reality, and the imperatives of professionalism demand that politics should be left entirely to the chosen representatives of the people. The most atrocious act committed by General Pervez Musharraf was that of dismantling the superior judiciary and appointing his own cronies who would toe his line, irrespective of the fact whether it is in the interest of the country or not. Dismissing over 60 learned judges by one man in uniform is hardly condonable. The only way this great sin can be atoned is to respectfully restore the chief justice along with his colleagues. There should be absolutely no compromise. The assemblies should maintain their decorum and remain empowered. Fortunately, the prime minister is a competent and experienced politician. He must radiate confidence among the people that he commands full authority in leading the National Assembly as a truly law enacting body. There are other recommendations which may be duly considered. No party should be named after Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. The defeat of Q league, should not be associated with our great leader. He should be above such controversies. Moreover, who does not know that Q league is a brain child of General Pervez Musharraf. Despite his full support and agencies' help, this party failed miserably as people have an aversion for those who support military rulers. In Quaid's Pakistan, only people are the wielders of power. In order to preserve the sanctity of the Federation, the governor of a province must not to be from the province he belongs to. The governor of Sindh, for instance could be from Punjab, Balochistan or NWFP. Similarly the Punjab governor may be from Sindh or other provinces. The respected Judges who did not take oath under dictatorial regimes may be considered to be appointed as governors as a reward for their principled stand that they took. The provincial autonomy must be implemented in letter and spirit. Participatory culture must be promoted at all levels to foster democratic spirit among the people. Without supportive systems in the society, democracy cannot take deeper roots. The February 18 verdict of the people, according to William Datrymple, in his writing on the Long Road to Freedom Finally (Tehelka, March 8,2008, India) says, "Pakistan's emerging middle class begins to stand up to the army, the feudal and the fundamentalists in an attempt to shape a democratic future." He has correctly evaluated that among the winning candidates, were largely from the middle class background, rather than usual feudals or zamindars. This certainly augurs well for Pakistan, the only snag being that Bush administration is naively fixated on the indispensability of General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, whereas a very outstanding South Asian expert Michael Krepon, contends otherwise. America's interests, he thinks, "lies in Musharraf's quick exist." Musharraf is part of the problem, not the solution.