That the People's will cannot be wished away forever, has been proven twice within a span of two years in recent Pakistani checkered political history. The symbol of re-germination of the quest for rule of law and constitutionalism, Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry has been re-instated along with his steadfast comrades, but not without paying a price; the loss of precious years at the pinnacle of their professional career which no one can bring back for them; such is the irony of a system, which needs to answer and address the cardinal question. This is no small price, compared to the ignominy which the politicians face because of their knee-jerk and imbecile behaviour in constitutional practice, of which most have no clue. While the nation has once again been rekindled with hope possessed with new sense of being and social consciousness, the PM who in recent times, has been seen to gather gradual momentum in finding his feet, eventually succeeded in partly prevailing upon his not so politically clued up party co-chairman and president of the country, to accede to the restoration of the unconstitutionally removed judges of superior courts, but not without the help and support of the Army Chief General Kayani. One expected though, that the general would also have consulted and heard the principal political opponent and the lawyers representatives before sizing up his precise stance. Mr Zardari, thrown up into presidency by circumstances, was reportedly bent upon handling the lawyers' movement single-handed, but for the sane course forced upon him by internal and external powers. Noticeably, his address to the nation which PM Gilani made in the early hours of the historic morning of March 16, 2009, appeared to have been tailored by the presidential spokesman who still thought it fit to credit the presidential promise and that of the 'ruling party' to restore the deposed judges, rather than owe it to the will of the people. The party could indeed have taken the cake, had the restoration of judges come in time as promised to the nation and its principal ally PML-N, rather than being forced to comply. At this point of time, a bit of advice to the rulers would be, that they avoid justifications being since offered by some of their various party men and spokespersons, and save further embarrassment to its rank and file. Or else questions will need to be asked as to what prompted the government to take cover of the very clauses in the constitution it had vowed to revoke, in re-appointment of judges rather than restoring them, making fresh appointments against its own drafted provisions in the Charter of Democracy, outlawing its principal opponents and unwarranted imposition of Governor's Rule in Punjab, locking up the Provincial Assembly, laying siege and paralysing the already dwindling economy, clamping down on the media and taking off a popular TV channel making a mockery of its claim to freedom of the press, unleashing repression, teargasing, beating up and arresting opponents, and barricading the entire country inviting the opposition to test and defeat the government writ which it did successfully, making the rulers look hapless. In the whole process, the world witnessed democracy being made a mockery by democratic rulers in Pakistan. While the presidential camp, has just been saved by the skin of its teeth this time, it would need to recognise that propriety and not hawkish rigidity, sincerity and not gamesmanship, and practice not rhetoric of conciliation and rapprochement are the ultimate tools of democracy. The government was under no obligation to wait until Justice Dogar would complete his tenure on March 21, since he was unlawfully appointed by Musharraf and ought to have in good grace, refused a fresh oath under PCO, or later voluntarily stepped down in favour of the deposed CJ to make for himself, a name in Pakistan's judicial history. With the present decision nevertheless, it would be puerile for the government to think that they have gotten away by simply declaring restoration of judges without addressing the question of legitimacy of those sworn under the PCO after the second Musharraf declared emergency. For all one can imagine, Justice Chaudhry will not take charge of office from the outgoing PCO-sworn Justice, which if he did, would amount to legitimising the previous dispensation. As a line of least resistance, and in reciprocation for the sake of the democratic system, legitimacy to legal actions barring upholding unconstitutional Musharraf steps during the period between November 3, 2007 and now, may at best need to be granted by the original set-up after Justice Iftikhar takes charge, which may well be the last of the series of steps to be condoned under the exigencies of the so-called Law of Necessity before burying it for good. It was extremely unfortunate if not mischievous, that when things appeared to be heading towards a climax warranting solution, Maulana Fazlur Rehman tried to use the odd slogans by an insignificant section of the crowd in the heat of the moment, to fan parochial hatred. When Nawaz Sharif, rejecting life threat warnings broke loose with the street power of teaming millions, defying unconstitutional restrictions, removing obstructions and marching towards Islamabad as promised in order to press home his party's demand for restoration of the unlawfully removed judiciary to the position of pre-November 2, 2007, the Maulana who ditched his coalition partner JI, sabotaged IJI government plans in the frontier during Musharraf rule, paid mere lip-service to Jamia Hafsa tragedy, and of late posed to be the negotiator between warring political factions, once again exposed himself, as did the MQM supreme. Just when a wave of reawakening had begun to overawe the nation exemplified by the people's support transforming itself into a sea of humanity, the Maulana tried to divert and water down the effect by saying that the long march had insignificant support from the smaller provinces, and that Mr Sharif was relegating the problems being faced by the rest of the country in preference to the interests of Punjab. Such unwarranted, misplaced and dangerous insinuations by the government partners at this momentous occasion, need to be strongly discouraged. Even if by default, the news splash over a TV channel on March 11, that several PPP activists were arrested and placed under lock-up by the Lahore police acting on an old list of workers meant to be arrested to pre-empt Benazir's long march during Musharraf's military rule, appears to be poetic justice to those who had been trying to dig ditches for their opponents, in defiance to the roadmap to democracy charted by their departed leader Benazir Bhutto, as they were bound to fall into these ditches themselves. Amazing Is it not that a people's government boasting of democratic ideals, should trample them under its own soar feet, and resort to laying barricades to prevent an unprovoked peaceful march, and in nervousness instead, turning it into a victory march for its opponents. For this, their hawkish stewards can take the cake singularly, but the blame must be taken by the leadership which got sucked into taking such miscalculated decisions. Regardless of this bloomer and so many self-created problems, it is mind-boggling that so soon in time the political dispensation in the country, should land the country into an abyss of despondency, after a brave lawyers wake-up call rallied around by the people of Pakistan sending a powerful dictator packing. If the political divide still chose to learn no lessons from the past and decided to commit Hara-kiri, they will only be themselves to blame and not the so-called establishment for intervention. If anything untoward happens, this may well be the last nail in the coffin for the present crop of national leadership. This time around, the military leadership has acted with dignified restraint and played an exemplary role to keep the system in tact. But this may not always happen. One cannot allow politicians in the name of democracy and supremacy of the Parliament, to take the people of Pakistan for a ride for five long years, if each time they turn back on them soon after getting voted to power on rosy promises, nor can any military adventurer be allowed to seize power, indulge in governance, and experiment with the nation in an area which is not its forte. In the words of a well known anchor: In this God-given country, there are dams but no water, poles but no electricity, rulers but no governance, leaders but no nation, courts but no justice, claims but no results, promises but no fulfilment, toil but no reward, heart but no feeling, brains but no sanity, sight but no vision, and if one may add, a mass of people with no sense of direction or a will to make itself known as a sovereign Muslim nation inheriting a great human legacy. If and when politicians land the country in such a mess which looks beyond them to redeem, it is time for proverbial intervention. To me, Pakistan needs a better name for what we have conventionally come to call - the establishment. There has to be a Body, which will always act in the supreme national and selfless interest, which takes no nonsense from anyone in or outside the country; call it the National Security Council or whatever you wish, but it should be empowered to back and build institutions rather than destroy them, and send home any government which fails to deliver or function properly. This Body must be mandated to appoint further Bodies to review and revise the constitution if need be, in order to make it subservient to the people and not one, which serves to protect or promote individuals or the party in power on the day; One, which helps root out corruption from the entire fabric of the diseased Pakistani society, and re-infuses the spirit of nationhood, created by the Father of the Nation, and justice to all. As for now, a ray of hope has re-emerged. Let us consolidate on the gains for the sake of the country, and help enforce genuine rule of law in the country. There could not be a better time than this defining moment, which is just the beginning. Let us seize this opportunity with both hands in earnest. The writer is a freelance columnist