Pakistan is going through challenging times. In the words of an analyst, there is a deep conflict in the thinking of those who came to power through the current democratic system and the opinion of others whose conscience finds the current state of governance repulsive. In the perception of those who have been waging a struggle for the rule of law all these years, the thing to be considered foremost has to be 'The right thing'. They say Pakistan's long term survival lies in accelerating the momentum of their movement to take it to its logical conclusion. We are thus at a T-junction. The right choice would take us to the rule of law and a wrong choice would takes us to the 'status-quo of corruption' of the last 60 years. The inherent difficulties in taking the correct course are of a gargantuan nature. Not because there is no solution to the problems but because Pakistan has never experienced a more profound vacuum of leadership. Lack of credibility and trust deficit is at an all time high, almost pervasive. The December16, 2009 judgment of the Supreme Court, emphasizing accountability and respect for the rule of law, has generated a new debate. Lawyers like Asma Jehangir have made somewhat unexpected comment on the judgment that the principle of separation of powers between pillars of the state must not be violated. But they fail to acknowledge the basic fact that it is in the implementation of the rule of law that the country has floundered most of all. If not the judiciary, which organ or institution of the state would keep us on the legal and ethical course? We all agree that the Army should not come back. Does that not put additional responsibility on the judiciary? Normally, one would agree with the separation of powers argument. But we are not in normal times. The masses have completely lost faith in their government because of their scant respect for norms of governance. They are, thus, looking towards the judiciary to implement the rule of the law. This should be considered a better option than looking towards the Army, as happened in the past. -SHAMS Z. ABBAS, Lahore, December 20