THE Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, has shared with the people his vision of Pakistan at the conclusion of the National Judicial Conference. Reading out the Islamabad Declaration, he envisioned the country to be totally free from the plague of corruption and a place where all the organs of the state are acting within their parameters and are concerned about nothing else than serving the citizens. Yet it is rather sad that the governments position only shows it is neither willing to fight corruption nor wants to give up its present defiant mood vis--vis the judiciary. So, at the end of the day, harmony between the pillars of the state would remain a tall order. The CJ further emphasised that the role played by the state should be that of a guardian, seeing to it that the economic welfare of the public was looked after. Likewise, Justice Javed Iqbals insistence on ending the huge backlog in the courts, especially the subordinate judiciary, in order to ensure cheap and speedy dispensation of justice, gives expression to the misery of millions of litigants running from pillar to post to get justice. There should be little doubt that the judiciary has been able to assert its independence in the face of stiff resistance from not only General Musharraf but the succeeding regime, through a marvellous struggle involving black coats and the civil society, and is today very much free. However, the remarks by Justice Javed are a grim reminder of the fact that the criminal justice system still suffers from serious drawbacks. Chief Justice Chaudhry also stressed the importance of imparting quality law education to lawyers and judges of tomorrow. He must be thinking of the lawyers who had simply gone mad and had behaved like ruffians. The way they had thrashed journalists, policemen and had been pressurising the judges into giving a favourable decision in the Shazia murder case certainly calls for good institutions which could help the community to not just hone their legal skills but also their conduct with the public.