The Long March is over. But it is not all over yet. Another Long March with new hopes, new concerns and new challenges in might erupt anytime again. On March 16, the people of Pakistan came out like a tsunami to give their clarion call for immediate restoration of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and other judges of the Superior Courts deposed illegally under General Musharraf's unconstitutional "proclamation of emergency order" on November 03, 2007 in his capacity as the then army chief. And within hours after the Long March kicked off from Model Town in Lahore under the leadership of PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, the nation was witnessing a momentous event and held its collective breath as the massive caravan moved ahead. Earlier the day started with roadblocks around the inner core of the city and pitched battles between political activists and police in riot gear at GPO Chowk. It was a pathetic scene watching state-perpetrated police action in a hid to crush the opposition. Before leaving his Model Town residence, Nawaz Sharif addressed the media and delivered an emotional speech. He said the government. had sealed off the entire country and it seemed as if curfew had been imposed on all cities and towns. He refused to obey the administration orders and asked the administration to remove all barriers. He also asked the people to come out of their houses and join him by removing all hindrances "because it was a decisive moment to bring about a change for the better future of the people of Pakistan." Nawaz Sharif's words became reality within hours of the beginning of the Long March. The barriers disappeared and some were dismantled by the crowd. The huge rally had hardly reached the outskirts of Lahore when the word came from Islamabad that the deposed judges will be restored. The Long March had reached its logical conclusion even before it reached its destination. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani addressed the nation early next morning and announced the restoration of the deposed judges to their November 02, 2007 position. The reinstatement of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, now seen as a symbol; of democracy and the rule of law in the country culminated a two-year struggle by Pakistan's lawyers and civil society for the independence of judiciary, highlighted by long processions, sometimes violent clashes, and repeated arrest and detentions of the leaders of the movement. It was a seminal development. in Pakistan's history. A grave crisis was averted and the democratic process launched in February last year was saved from being derailed. The credit for this momentous development goes not only to the political forces and the lawyer's community but also to our vigilant media and vibrant civil society. They all pursued a determined and peaceful campaign in defence of the independence of judiciary. The return of the illegally deposed judges to their lawful position is a victory for all and defeat for none. It is the government's victory because by acceding to the wishes of the restoration of the deposed judges is only the first step towards the establishment of an independent judiciary. Justice will remain elusive as long as structural and procedural changes are not made in our judicial system. Our system is too corrupt to he cleaned by one individual. But the very presence of Iftikhar Chaudhry at the helm of the judiciary does give hope for the needed reform. In the coming days, expectations from the reinstated Chief Justice and his reconstituted Supreme Court will understandably he very high. The public euphoria may not last for too long unless the restored courts address the key outstanding constitutional and political disputes of the state in a manner consistent with law and acceptable to the people of Pakistan. Some of these cases include the Sharif disqualification case, the NRO, the PCO judges, validity of Gen Musharraf's actions, and the missing persons' case. The dream of genuine. democracy will not he achieved until the Seventeenth Amendment is repealed. A serious and purposeful "national effort" involving a comprehensive systemic review and a parallel discourse on the part of major political stakeholders and key civil society segments is needed with a view to evolving a national remedial and recovery plan before it is too late. This "national effort" must be based on a common legislative and administrative agenda and a well-envisioned socio-economic roadmap as a new "social contract" for the nation. The overarching premise of this new "social contract" must be the renewed commitment of the state to preservation of Pakistan's sovereign independence and territorial integrity, constitutional supremacy, institutional integrity, rule of law, independence of judiciary and sanctity of the principle of separation of powers. A process must begin now for parliamentary groundwork to ensure faithful implementation of the Charter of Democracy. The question of judicial appointments needs to he reviewed in accordance with the letter and spirit of this Charter. It's time our elected parliamentarians fulfilled their role as legislators and stopped being the puppets at the mercy of the "man behind the curtain." They must honour the trust of their voters and make laws for them, not for their own perks and privileges. Our "elected" leaders must also rise above their personal interests and avoid confrontationist politics. It is time to unite and avoid reaching points of no return. Instead of always blaming "outsiders" for our domestic problems, we should have the courage to admit that there is something fundamentally wrong with our own governance patterns. Our foremost priority now is to fix the fundamentals of our governance. We have serious problems at hand including the scourge of extremism and terrorism. We must strengthen democracy and the rule of law to he able to confront all these challenges. The writer is a former foreign secretary