Dividing the lawyers after their highly successful Long March only serves Musharraf's interests. The protest has succeeded in sending a clear signal to the PPP led government that if it continued to ignore the public sentiment regarding the restoration of the judges, it stood in imminent danger of coming into conflict with a formidable force of the civil society. That over a lakh highly motivated protestors drawn from all nooks and corners of the country and representing all provinces, ethnic groups, faiths and classes should knock at Islamabad's door and return peacefully after delivering the message should open the eyes of the rulers. The message was conveyed with a deep sense of responsibility, ensuring that the newly elected government was in no way destabilised. There was no sense turning the march into a sit-in. This could have only been done after proper preparation which was simply not there and the government anyway needed to be put on notice before the final show of strength. Except for a mini-minority, the bulk of those who came to Islamabad were not prepared for a sit-in. No decision in this regard had been taken by the leadership when it launched the movement. In fact none had expected the huge turnout which subsequently encouraged some to gherao the National Assembly. That those supporting the move are confused over a sit-in for a day or till the restoration of all the deposed judges indicates that they had not simply done the homework needed for the move. By returning from Islamabad the lawyers have kept the threat of a more severe action alive. As the government reels under the impact of the march their leaders can prepare their next move: a sit-in at the end of another and even more forceful march, a call for non-cooperation movement that includes refusal to pay taxes, withdrawal of bank deposits or any other tactic of the type. Those criticising Aitzaz Ahsan over the issue are a mini minority as was shown by the number of protestors who subsequently decided to stage a sit-in outside the National Assembly. They comprise of honest but hotheaded elements in the layers community, groups supporting APDM parties, sections of the lawyers who need a "cause clebre"  for the next SCBA elections to defeat Aitzaz and his supporters and agents provocateur. The hotheaded elements simply do not see beyond their nose. The Tehrik-e-Insaf and Jamaat-e-Islami being out of the Assemblies have little interest in retaining them. Imran Khan has already declared that he sees little difference between Musharraf and Zardari. The views held by JI leaders are no different. They feel threatened by the continuation of the Assemblies and the ongoing alliance between the PPP and PML-N. Those preparing to win the next SCBA elections consider this the best time to demolish Aitzaz Ahsan. Sections in the establishment want the coalition government to be destabilised and would recruit any number of elements that can help by turning the lawyers peaceful agitation into a violent anti-government movement. The PPP leadership views the lawyers' movement as a rival while it should have looked at it as an ally. With the PPP cadre particularly the PPP affiliated lawyers increasingly joining the Long March, the party leaders started getting jealous of it. The government ministers had initially under-estimated the movement's potential and had generally taunted the lawyers. But as the Long March proceeded and the ranks of the protestors swelled, the PPP bosses got increasingly apprehensive. The government is doing all it can out of sheer frustration to denigrate the present SCBA leadership. From making a fun of the Long March some of the PPP leaders have openly resorted to calumnious remarks accusing Aitzaz and other leaders of the lawyers' community of wasting crores of rupees collected according to them from unknown sources. They are thus facilitating the hotheaded elements in the to take over the command of the leadership. In case the lawyers' leadership passes into the hands of pro-collision elements, it would weaken their movement and would be bad for the government. The government needs to urgently resolve the issue of the deposed judges to reach an understanding with the lawyers who should be treated as allies and not rivals. The dissension's in the lawyers ranks would please Musharraf the most. Nothing has weakened him more than the lawyers' struggle. The lawyers' community must avoid a break up in its ranks. Anyone who encourages it helps Musharraf. E-mail: azizuddin@nation.com.pk