THE 70th death anniversary of Allama Muhammad Iqbal is being observed at a time when his concept of Pakistan as a modern Islamic democracy practising moderation and serving as a bulwark against theocracy is under attack as never before. Iqbal, who strongly criticised some of the nationalist ulema for their outmoded views, was well aware of the fact that they were not capable of leading the nation. And he was right because he understood that the leadership of the nation in the modern world required much more than traditional madressa learning. Running a modern state with all its complexities requires knowledge of the contemporary world, understanding of the economy, and the requirements of national defence, international relations and diplomatic norms and conventions. Above all, it requires a vision, which is singularly lacking among the elements rooted in tribal communities. This explains why the movement for the creation of Pakistan was led not by conventional ulema, some of whom were deadly opposed to it, but by two highly dedicated visionaries practising moderate Islam, who had envisioned the new country as a pluralist Islamic state to serve as role model for the Muslim World. What Tehrik Nifaz-i-Shariat-i-Muhammadi chief Maulana Sufi Muhammad has repeatedly said about democracy, the constitution and the superior courts strengthens the apprehensions Iqbal had about such clerics' ignorance of statecraft. According to the TNSM Chief, the current democratic system practised in the country is "Nizam-e-Kufr" and those accepting it are Mushrikeen. According to him, the Supreme Court and High Courts are against Sharia. One concedes that the system created under the 1973 Constitution has several flaws. That is why there will always remain a need for constitutional amendments, within the basic framework of a federal democracy, from time to time. But despite its weaknesses this is the only system that can guarantee the unity and integrity of the state. What is more, it has been endorsed by ulema belonging to all schools of thought. Similarly, there are no two opinions about the legal system being prone to corruption, and slow moving. One hopes that with an independent judiciary in place now, the Supreme Court will move apace to remove these highly serious vulnerabilities. Any deviation from the teachings of the Founding Fathers can harm Pakistan. There is a need to urgently shoot down the 17th amendment and Article 58(2b) in line with the Charter of Democracy, enhance the quantum of provincial autonomy and improve the lot of the common man to make Pakistan a model Islamic country and a democratic welfare state. Those who want changes in the system should join mainstream politics by contesting elections, rather than dictating to the state on gunpoint.