Are we a PCO nation? In 1999, when Pervez Musharraf removed the elected prime minister only a handful of judges refused to take oath under his PCO, majority did. In 2007, when he issued his second PCO only a few took oath, the refusals were much greater. As a nation it was an act of defiance at the top which has brought hope. Finally, the PCO approach has been challenged. Hopefully, there will be no PCO judges in future. Sixty superior court judges have rejected the president's PCO. The nation is solidly behind them. The struggle of the civil society and the lawyers is not for individuals but for a system and a process so that, as a nation, we can come out of the PCO strangle hold that has been thrust on us. Pakistan is relatively a new nation. It emerged on the world map on August 14, 1947 under the leadership of Quaid-i-Azam. From 1947 till 1958 the new nation struggled to survive and consolidate its freedom. In 1957 a democratic constitution was also enacted. Elections were to be held and the political leadership was all set to lead the nation on the democratic path. Like a bolt from the blue the country was invaded by its own armed forces on the dreadful day of October 7, 1958. Ayub proclaimed himself to be the ruler of Pakistan. The Sindh High Court declared him to be a usurper. He appealed to the Supreme Court where Justice Muhammad Munir legalised his adventurism under the "law of necessity." It was perhaps the birth of a new PCO nation, willing to sell national interest and to compromise when and where required. Individual interests became supreme. Kick backs, cuts and commission were a way of life. Some conscientious people resisted but Mir Jaffers were easily available. Ad hocism was introduced in all the national institutions which led to their collapse. In the absence of elected political leadership the baboos became parasites. Khaki short cuts and baboo inertia choked the entire system. Today, Pakistan has lost the ability to govern. We are a PCO nation firmly in the control of vested interests; with nothing to look forward to. The doctrine of necessity has been applied 5 times to justify the khaki adventurism. In the past the judges silently went home in protest while their brother judges willingly stayed-on under PCO. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry decided to take stand and refused to go home. The civil society came out of the slumber and decided to march with the lawyers. The days of dictatorship are now numbered. Pakistan in 2008 is much more informed as compared to 1958 when Ayub Khan took control. Pakistan is bracing for major changes. The people's mandate of February 18, 2008 has to be respected by the elected representatives. Issues of vital national importance have to be dealt with before the spill over to the streets. Long march by the citizens of the state invariably signals the failure of the democratic system in place. Pakistan needs a PCO to cleanse the system for all times to come. From a street pavement to the presidency, national interests must be kept supreme with rule of law equally applicable to one and all. The nation has to move forward in which the champions of PCO have no role. For the sake of Pakistan and its nascent democracy the tables have to be turned. Lines have to be clearly drawn: those who sell their soul under PCO should not be allowed to rest in peace.