Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan, the estranged senior PPP leader and vanguard of Pakistan's Lawyers Movement for the lost cause of restoration of judiciary has failed to see the master stroke played by his party Co-Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari, who, emerged as a master tactician at the end of the lawyers march to Islamabad. The much trumpeted long march became a show of the right wing politicians and political parties led by Jamaat-e-Islami Chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed and his sidekick Imran Khan, who tried to hijack the entire judicial movement and turned it into an anti PPP, anti Parliament drive after boycotting February 18 elections. Zardari played his cards well when he gave free hand to his coalition partner Mian Nawaz Sharif and the lawyers to take out the long march and even offered them food and other necessary facilities when the huge crowd of lawyers supported by political activists converged a short distance from the front of the Parliament building. His party's decision to increase the numbers of Supreme Court judges to 29 in the now under debate finance bill was an intelligent move that almost pricked the bubble of agitation policies of his opponent who are bent upon tarnishing his democratic credentials. He has already released the salaries for the sacked judges to show his sincerity to the cause of reinstating the judged but through a constitutional package. PPP Co-Chairman's non- resistance attitude to the march took away the wind out of the political sail of the APDM who was expecting road blocks and road bumps to the marchers from the government side which would have given bad name to the PPP led government at Islamabad. The brinkmanship politics of APDM which is aimed at forcing fresh election at the earliest was stymied by the master stroke of Zardari. The major stake holder of APDM, Nawaz Sharif is aware that the PPP without Benazir Bhutto would be like a sacrificial lamb before his lion that is why he is in a hurry to cash all the advantages and bring the situation to such a pass that there is no alternate except going back to the people for a new mandate. Born again politician, Zardari with a political acumen not seen before in this country, is aware of the difficulties that he and his party would face if they are thrown again into the election arena without delivering any thing. Analysts, who are closely monitoring the day-to-day political scenario, are of the view that time is of essence for Zardari and there is no better option for him to buy time then to extend the crucial issue of restoration of judiciary. He and his partners have intelligently and wisely played their cards in the judicial movement by introducing the judicial reformation bill in the parliament. This will buy him more than enough time and at the same time exacerbate the worries of Nawaz Sharif and his other political opponents who in desperation would make decisions that will further expose them. Analysts had rightly expressed their fear that the lawyers movement may land in the hands of extremist elements and the entire cause would be defeated and may become a tool in the hands of those elements who are fighting in the Northern areas of the country. This fear was reflected in the speech of former ISI Chief delivered by the thorough bred, Jihadi, Lt Gen (R) Hamid Gul, who set aside the cause of the lawyers and loudly spoke about starting a jihad. He openly said that the nation is ready to wage a jihad against the foreign forces. His public declaration may have shocked the supporters of the lawyers' movement because it is not a political campaign. The presence of a number of retired generals, who while in uniform trampled over the constitution, human rights and democratic forces under their boots in the past, were now with the lawyers supporting their campaign wearing the cloak of civil society. However, for those who had seen and experienced history over the last 60 years was difficult to swallow the idea of former generals supporting a democratic cause. It is like the wolf of Little Red Riding Hood story in which the carnivorous animal sleeping in the bed camouflaging himself as a Granny waiting for his kill.