Our political leadership must understand that there can be no democracy, without an independent judiciary, free from the influence of the executive. People need to be reassured that they can seek justice, even if the perpetrator of that injustice occupies a position of authority or is a man of wealth. Had there been an independent judiciary in Pakistan, Ayub Khan could not have imposed martial law, Yahya would not have taken over, Pakistan would not have been dismembered, Bhutto could not have been hanged, nor Bugti murdered. -T. MALLICK, Sheffield, UK, via e-mail, April 4.