As opposed to the would-be Hawks and the perpetual pessimists one is continuously confronted with, I believe that the lawyers' Long March succeeded in delivering a strong message, on their behalf as well as on behalf of the entire nation, that restoration of the judiciary is a very significant and important step for Pakistan fully supported by the majority. That the sit-in was called off is absolutely brilliant. It denied an eager "establishment" the opportunity to strike and create chaos, a very great possibility considering the Sher Afgan episode in Lahore. One untoward incident could have turned the tide against democracy per se. The government deserves credit for patently creating an atmosphere that allowed the event to pass smoothly. At the same time full marks to the organisers and participants, the biggest ever event in Islamabad, hundreds of thousands people gathered together, for ensuring that peace and tranquillity were not disturbed. This event heralds a new era in our fledgling democracy in evidencing that peaceful and constructive protest can be galvanised across the length and breadth of the country and that protest is no longer the handmaiden of a single political party. Times have changed; are rapidly changing. In acknowledging that "Sharif basks in the limelight," it is important to note that the CJ has still not made a single error of judgement since March 9 of last year. It is not without reason that the iconic stature attained by him continues to grow. Despite growing criticism from vested quarters that he has technically "excluded" himself from being restored by "over politicising" the issue, let the record show that he has never addressed a political gathering and nor has he made political statements. In fact, the reverse, he has refused to speak, as he did in Islamabad, whenever political twist could be given to his appearance. The belief that Mian Nawaz Sharif is a man "who upholds his commitments and has a clear agenda" is equally gathering strength with the passage of time. Yes, there is criticism that his agenda may perhaps be too personal; nevertheless the fact that he continues to abide by the election slogan despite multiple temptations to do an "about turn" has him being spoken of in glowing terms. It is quite apparent, present trends continuing, once the Musharraf period is over, that the Sharif bandwagon shall be propelled relentlessly towards its ultimate goal. Mr Zardari continues to buy time, on all issues, claiming that he is the best person to know when the anvil is ready and hot. Whereas as one would agree that the issues confronting government are "huge issues," there are some issues where his opinion and that of the multitude are at daggers drawn, a fact that he appears to acknowledge. By and large one would agree with him that the peoples' primary concerns are the basics, food prices, shortages of power, water, food and the rapidly deteriorating economy. One can also agree that there are no "quick fixes." But in respect of restoration of judges or the urgently required political tweaks one cannot fathom why the PPP continues to drag its feet when political consensus can be harnessed with, one must concede, some effort. Whereas time appears to be Mr Zardari's selling point, for no declared reason one may add, the status quo also suits Pervez Musharraf. So is that the million dollar equation then? The ultimate quid pro quo It is very apparent that the PPP co-chairman is under extreme pressure. His normal, jovial, smiling self was visibly irritated and frustrated at the meeting with jiyalas in Lahore's sprawling Governor's Mansion. The loud and clear "Shut up" prior to commencing his address is a clear manifestation of the turmoil and inner frustration that is beginning to overcome him. An article by the editor of a national daily the other day quoted Asif as saying, "Let my brother Nawaz Sharif take the credit." There certainly seems to have been a change of heart after witnessing the mega event in Islamabad. Zardari's address was designed to ridicule the resources, timing and success of the long march. A cartoon depicting the information minister looking in the wrong direction is clear evidence of the PPP's intent. And the co-chairman's statement that this was "no march" belies apologetic statements made by ministers suggesting the PPP was present in the march. Nobody buys that this was a mela. The address was an unsuccessful attempt to win back those who believe that the delay in political decisions is seriously damaging the party's credibility. Tragically, the leader who could have swayed the crowds lost her precious life to the viciousness that has overrun this country. There is the inevitable comparison between how BB would have handled the situation and the manner as it is being handled now. The majority firmly believe had she been alive, being politically astute, she would have scented this popular change and ridden with it, in fact ridden it. Gone would be the deal with Musharraf and any other. Perhaps she may have carried the COD alias Sharif, perhaps not, only the dynamics would have determined that. There is no denying that she was the ultimate past master Mr Zardari's statement that BB did not give her life for Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry is to be appreciated. And as he says she sacrificed her life for democracy. Perhaps I may be allowed the liberty of adding that she gave her most precious gift from the Almighty for a democratic revolution, to release Pakistan and its people from bondage. To provide them dignity, self-rule, justice and fair-play. To that extent the role of Justice Iftikhar cannot be ignored. To serve her memory on her forthcoming birthday, it must be our resolve to see this democratic revolution become reality. Much as he would like us to believe otherwise, Zardari is alone in his opinions now. His only ally the presidency and, of course, significantly America, the sponsor of everything going wrong in Pakistan. Not just Pakistan but wherever it touches outside its own borders. So far, Pakistan's intellectuals have been saved from the blame they must share. Last week Humayun Gauhar highlighted this. Not only have they not enunciated, "an accurate description and definition of the country which can be implemented," they have willingly prostituted themselves, alone and in groups, before each successive government and curried paltry favours to sell their souls. And every regime has blatantly abused the rule of law and constitution riding on their coat tails. If they continue to shirk this responsibility very quickly time will have no time for them Aitzaz Ahsan now speaks of a Train March. Given the mood of the people this is likely to be a resounding success. But is there a game plan beyond restoration and possible impeachment? There are many conspirators who would quickly write him off as pass now that this march is over. His efforts and sacrifices are too many to be lost in space. But then he is an astute man, one may be certain he has the significant card up his sleeve. Time waits for no one. There is that one "opportune" moment. The significance is in reading it correctly. Democracy demands that it be so read. Failure to do so leads to an ouster. Then it is up to the successor to grab the opportunity. If he fails there is another. It is an endless process. The writer is a Karachi-based political and economic analyst E-mail: