The cry in the streets is "Peoples' chief justice is back; now justice shall prevail." There is genuine jubilation all over the country. Pictures of lawyers dancing with police and children waving Pakistan's flag are inspiring. No doubt the unthinkable has happened and everyone is justified in feeling elated that Pakistan's history is changing its course towards the better. All this is good but I fear that we as a nation, starved for heroes, in our hope, are placing an unrealistic burden on the shoulders of Justice Iftikhar to right all wrongs in the country. From what I know of him, he is more than ready and able to meet the challenges ahead. One thing he will ensure is that rule of law prevails and rock of judicial independence is used to crush injustice to all. The task ahead for him would be to strengthen and keep united a political judiciary and try and eliminate corruption within the lower judiciary as well. Let him get on with his job and for sake of the country, we all wish him the best. Judges' restoration is only the first step on the right path. Pakistan still faces serious political issues and threats of terrorism. It is not for the judiciary to solve these issues; it cannot. The slogans that an independent judiciary will solve all issues facing Pakistan may have been used to good effect in keeping the lawyers movement alive but in reality this is misleading and now that through this "Soft Revolution" the people have shown that Pakistanis want change, the direction which the country takes henceforth must come from politicians and Parliament. By bringing political issues to be resolved by the courts, we will be only ultimately compromising judicial independence again. The question on everybody's mind is what next? We have already received an indication of what the leaders are thinking. Both Nawaz Sharif, while launching the march, and Prime Minister Gilani, when making the announcement which ended the conflict, have vowed to the nation that they will work towards the implementation of "Charter of Democracy (COD)" to solve all outstanding issues. COD which was signed by Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif is not a legal enactment but apart from proposing many constitutional amendments it contains the reaffirmation from both of their commitment to "undiluted democracy", "rights of a vibrant opposition", "internal party democracy", "maximum provincial autonomy", "free and independent media", "neutral civil service" and "an independent judiciary". Writing about COD in my earlier article in 2006 when Musharraf was still in Parliament I compared it to the Magna Carta and our own Objective Resolution of 1940 and wrote: "When politicians come to power, if they can follow principles of democratic tolerance and take decisions on the basis of dialogue in a participatory environment, COD may become the beginning of a trend, the first stage in the process of growth, so that the future rulers are bound by these principles, and if they do not, the community must oust them by force, if necessary." There is still lack of confidence in government within the legal community, and people are debating what effect would the COD have on the judiciary? A controversial amendment proposed in COD and which could have a drastic impact on the existing judicial system, is the proposal to set-up a "Federal Constitutional Court" to resolve constitutional issues and to curtail jurisdiction of existing Supreme Court by limiting it to hearing only regular civil and criminal cases. This may seriously impair the Supreme Court's power of "suo-moto actions" for which it had become so popular. If such a change is brought about by Parliament, it will be part of a package containing various other constitutional amendments proposed in COD, and the legal community and public would have to bow before this political will. It will remain to be seen if the Supreme Court will strike down this kind of an amendment on the basis of the principle that Parliament cannot change the basic constitutional structure. COD also proposes that appointment of judges of superior judiciary is to be recommended by a "commission" and confirmed by a parliamentary committee through transparent public hearing process. I would imagine that this method of appointment, if included in the constitutional package, would apply to future appointments and not effect any of the sitting judges, whether confirmed or not. In fact such a process of appointment with some necessary safeguards would be a welcome change. There is also a school of thought that if COD is implemented in the constitution then all judges, including CJ Iftikhar, who took oath under any PCO would stand disqualified. COD does provide that any judge who has taken oath under PCO will not be able to sit in the "commission" for appointment of judges and that "no judge shall take oath under PCO" but does not go so far as to say that all judges who have taken PCO oath will be liable to be removed or are ineligible. If the spirit of COD is taken, any constitutional amendment that no judge shall take oath under PCO will apply to the future. A controversy has been raised regarding the status of the existing judiciary. COD will not resolve this issue which needs to be solved in the spirit of tolerance and with a view to moving on and looking at the future. The positive aspect is that both PML-N and lawyers have ended the long march in a compromise with some give and take. Lawyers leadership wanted removal of all judges who had taken oath under PCO or were appointed during this time (which is one extreme). Nawaz Sharif believed that Justice Dogar was not the CJP and his court was unconstitutional. President Zardari insisted that he would not remove Justice Dogar as CJP because, according to him, to do so would be unconstitutional. All parties on the basis of the announcement that Justice Iftikhar will be restored as CJP after retirement of Justice Dogar, who was acting as CJP in his absence, called off the long march midway. The compromise seems to be an acceptance of the situation that CJP Iftikhar was, as a matter of fact, illegally made "physically dysfunctional temporarily", and Justice Dogar acted as CJP to fill the void in the judiciary system. The same principle should apply to all other judges who took oath under PCO as well as the fresh appointments made during this period. I would hope to see that no further controversy is created on the judiciary and constitutional amendments are brought only in the light of the principles and objectives stated in the COD. With respect to everybody, the judiciary needs to be left alone to build up its own respect. The COD proposes various other constitutional amendments having far reaching impact. For example, it is proposed that appointment of governors, the three service chiefs and the chief election commissioner would be by the prime minister; the concurrent list would be abolished (this would mean that subjects like electricity which were within the legislative and executive competence of the federal legislature would now fall within the exclusive domain of the provinces); FATA would be included in NWFP; local bodies would be autonomous; National Security Council will be abolished and ISI and MI would be accountable to the elected representatives. COD also calls for the review of all indemnities given to the military. Future debate is expected to and should focus on these matters. We must not forget that as the country was celebrating and people were thronging to CJ's house in Islamabad, a blast killed and injured many in the twin city in Rawalpindi reminding us that the threat of terrorism is very much alive in Pakistan. The nation is suffering and the fight against terrorism in the country is one cause for which all of us are united. Talibanisation is spreading its tentacles deeper into Pakistan and the dangerous situation which has arisen in Swat is only the beginning. The political parties need to stop their petty wrangles and hold a debate on whether the Swat Accord is the right approach to solve the problem. How to deal with these crucial issues should be the next agenda. May be the people need to hold another long march, this time to strengthen the hands of the government against terrorists and tell the world that we, Pakistanis, are victims rather than aggressors. I assure you that the number of people who will come out on the streets of Pakistan will far outnumber any ever before. Yes, we Pakistanis are ready to do a long march for peace, prosperity and integrity. The writer is an advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan E-mail: ali@mandviwallaandzafar.com