It was once said that Pakistan was ruled by Allah, America and Abbajee, Nawaz Sharif's father. Nawaz Sharif was then the prime minister. Abbajee was replaced by the Army when General Pervez Musharraf took over. The alliteration of 'A' has not gone even after President Zardari has assumed power. His full name is Asif Ali Zardari. The ineluctable 'A' is still there. Whatever these appellations may mean, it is the Pakistani nation that has won in the long march undertaken to reinstate the judges. Never before the government in a country has bowed before the people who came on the streets. Come to think of it, it is the victory of lawyers led by a Pakistan People's Party (PPP) member Aitzaz Ahsan, who started a march from the Lahore High Court two years ago to have deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and other judges reinstated. Their only fault was that they had earned the ire of the then president, General Pervez Musharraf, who was not happy over their independent judgements. The long march this time, again started from Lahore, was successful even before it had reached its destination, Islamabad. Nawaz Sharif who led the lawyers' march had covered only up to Gujranwala, a small distance from Lahore, when Zardari agreed to redeem the promise he had made in a joint declaration at Murree. The declaration had the reinstatement of sacked Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and other judges at the top. Probably fearing the reopening of cases against him, the incumbent president dragged his feet. But it made a mockery of the Murree Declaration. It also showed the infirmity of the understanding the PPP and Nawaz Sharif's Muslim League had reached to rule the country jointly. Why did the two go apart? So much so that Nawaz Sharif's men resigned from the government. From whichever angle one looks at, the combination of Zardari and Nawaz Sharif is the best for Pakistan. The PPP is trying to have an alliance with the Muslim League (Quaid) of the Chaudhrys of Gujrat, but this party of disgruntled members would only use the PPP support to come to power and then destroy the combination from within. By aligning itself too much with the ousted General Musharraf, PML-Q has lost its credibility. It cannot replace the PML-N. The only answer to Pakistan's problems is the unity between Zardari and Nawaz Sharif. However personally hurt the two may feel over the incidents of last few days, they have to join hands to fight the terrorists who are nibbling at Pakistan's territory. The latter have strengthened their hold so much in the Swat valley, Chitral and four other districts of Malakand division that they can walk into Peshawar any day. This worries Washington the most. True, it has played a very crucial role in solving the recent crisis but America's eyes were fixed on the steps to be taken after the crisis was over. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in constant touch with President Zardari. On America's bidding, General Parvez Kayani, the Pakistan Army Chief, assured the Zardari government that he did not want to step in but would be left with no other option if the government did not make up with Nawaz Sharif to resolve the judges' issue. President Zardari's dependence on the US and the army does not auger well for the country. He should realise that Pakistan is in a mess because it has had 32 years of military rule since its constitution in August 1947 and because Washington has interfered in the Pakistan affairs all the time. When people forced Musharraf to quit and voted freely in the election that followed his exit, they wanted both the PPP and Muslim League (N) to rule the country together. They wanted the return of democracy. Despite a few hitches soon after the government took over, they heaved a sigh of relief when the Cabinet, including Nawaz Sharif's men, began functioning. They expected the two parties to keep the interest of Pakistan above their own. They are disappointed to see that it has not happened so. Now that the democratic government has got another lease of life, both Zardari and Nawaz Sharif should realise that they are intertwined by destiny. They will be responsible if Pakistan again plunges into another crisis. The silver lining is that the media, the fourth estate, a pillar on which a democratic structure rests, has emerged strong. Its performance in the last four-five years has shown that it can defend Pakistan's interest well. It was the media which proved to the government that Kasab, one of the terrorists who attacked Mumbai, was from Faridkot, a place near Okara. The Pakistan media has proved to its counterparts in India that, however old the latter's traditions, it has grown stodgy and become part of the establishment. The Indian media during the emergency proved how callow and coward it was when it faced the challenge of protecting the democratic structure which an authoritarian government had taken over. The TV networks were not there at that time. But I have no faith in them after seeing their prejudiced, government-oriented coverage of events either in Pakistan or Bangladesh. L K Advani had said aptly after the emergency that the journalists were asked to bend but they began to crawl. By resigning, Information Minister Sherry Rehman has shown that the curbs on the media and democracy cannot live together. No minister quitted from Mrs Indira Gandhi's Cabinet when she gagged the press and suspended even the fundamentalist rights. Now the same ministers in the ruling Congress are showing concern over the fate of democracy in Pakistan. What did they do when democracy was muzzled in India? Till now they have done no introspection to find out why they failed when the nation expected them to stand up to the extra-constitutional authority of Sanjay Gandhi, son of Mrs Indira Gandhi. The writer is a former member of the Indian Parliament and senior journalist E-mail: