LAHORE- The lawyers' long march has turned into a long march of the masses after tens of thousands moved as per schedule from Lahore to Islamabad defying every orders served to the march leaders to restrain their movement and removing every hurdle in the way. Echoing a big change at the national level, the mammoth convergence of the City people proves the fact that the countrymen not only understand the message lawyers conveyed to them for an independent judiciary but they also have the spirit to respond to the political voice to stand up and be counted for this cause. The huge participation by the activists of PML-N, JI, PTI and other political parties clearly outsmarted lawyers in terms of management and crowd pulling, though the legal fraternity was confronted with some constraints on its own part. The march predominantly gave the impression that the political parties have stolen the show to the limit of hijacking it for a show of power, and demonstrating it in a very convincing manner. Lawyers' presence at the rally was not up to the expected level. The reason being, a huge procession of the lawyers expected to reach here from Multan on Saturday could not come up. Authorities in Sindh had strictly blocked the way for the lawyers to gather in Lahore, thus none of their organised groups could reach from Karachi, Sukkar and other parts of the country. One of such group coming from Quetta was also blocked at Jacobabad junction compelling it to go back. Lawyers in fact had to reach here at night but they failed and only those could make up to the metropolis who travelled while impersonating in twos and threes as they were directed under Plan-B, which was to be invoked in case of blockade and barricades. Many lawyers from Sindh and Quetta had also preferred to reach Islamabad directly under their own arrangements. In the City, a leadership gap on the part of lawyers was also witnessed. This was primarily for the reason that SCBA President Ali Ahmad Kurd, Baz Muhammad Kakar, and others were not allowed to fly from Quetta under the Punjab Government orders not allowing them to enter Punjab for 10 days. Barrister Aitzaz who spent five days in hibernation to escape arrest, when came out in the morning was captured and put under the house arrest. Other leaders like Munir A Malik, Rashid A Rizvi etc were also detained in Karachi, while Hafiz Abdul Rehman Ansari and Hamid Khan had opted to reach Islamabad beforehand. In the City, it was incumbent president of LHCBA MA Shahid Siddiqui and former president Tariq Mahmood caught in the teargas and messy situation at GPO Chowk, thus took time to reorganise the scattered lawyers in the evening. Against the lawyers, PML-N gave an excellent performance which is already regarded its political stronghold. The JI, PTI and Khaksar Tehreek activists confronting the police action at GPO, soon regained their foothold in the battle when the news about the huge procession by the PML-N reached to them which at same time, unnerved the police and administration forcing them to the back foot. The government put on every available impediment in their way so much so that all inlets and outlets at the district level throughout the country were blocked using containers, trailers and the trolleys to check the marchers. But when the sea of people came out, it swept away every thing. Not only in Lahore, but in various other parts of the country too, third degree steps were used by the law enforcement agencies to stop the public, but they all failed. Detention orders of Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, Aitzaz Ahsan, Qazi Hussain Ahmad, Liaquat Baloch, Farid Piracha, Imran Khan, Khawaja Saad Rafique, MA Shahid Siddiqui and other lawyers and political leaders were issued but none worked as they all defied them openly. The public enthusiasm in the march was sublime. It was touching the peak when the charged up participants raised slogans for their cause. Despite the fact that it was a weekly off, yet in order to diffuse public sentiments and divert their attention, Punjab Government had announced celebration of Basant but the massive turnover failed the trick badly. Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan was taken into custody and huddled back home in the morning under the MPO. But when the multitude of people swarmed the roads under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif breaking all barriers right from his Model Town residence. The police posted outside Aitzaz's Zaman Park residence failed to contain his way to the GPO where he came and joined the legal fraternity in the afternoon. In the clashes that occurred in the morning continuing for over three hours, police got exhausted because of baton-charge and teargas shelling, thus failed in overpowering the public spirit and enthusiasm. The gigantic presence of the masses was a reminder of the occasion when Ms Benazir Bhutto had arrived here during the dictatorial rule of General Zia ul Haq after spending a decade in exile in France. However at that time, no hurdles or blockades were placed in the way of the people nor any violent action was restored to against the PPP workers, although it was a military government. When the public flood inundated the roads, everyone of every age was a part of it. Youth, women, children, old-aged, students, traders, businessmen, professional along with NGOs and civil society members, in a nutshell people from every segment of the society had joined the rally which marched down to Islamabad. They all had come to the arena committing singularly to the cause of independent judiciary, which now being believed to be a voice of almost every Pakistani. Observers and the politicians share the same view that the big show in Lahore today is in fact a public verdict for an independent judiciary and rule of law in the country. But, what now has to be seen is, how much the rulers respect it and flow with the public aspirations instead of going to opposite. The country indeed is facing a tough time emphasising the need of unity as well as for establishing strong institutions to meet the challenges. Independent and strong judiciary is a big answer to present problems and the difficult situation. Then why should not an independent judiciary be taken as a solution instead of taking it otherwise? But for that, the men that matter need to give precedence to the national interests setting aside their ego and self interests, they add.