To a nation that had begun to accept tears of sorrow as the inevitable, March 16 brought tears of joy and hope to the otherwise traumatized countrymen. It was a different, vibrant and new-found nation ready to reshape its destiny. It was an electrifying display of people's will and power determined to knock down all obstacles in their righteous path for the cause of an independent judiciary. March 16 may well be the turning point in Pakistan's history. Many CJs have come and gone with none leaving any worthwhile legacy or impact on our future. On the contrary Honorable Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry is no ordinary CJ who represents the aspirations of a nation that desperately seeks a leader and a role model in these difficult times. What then are the challenges for the Honorable CJ? Perhaps the CJ's most formidable challenge will be to cleanse the judiciary of corrupt elements right down the line. An honest and independent judiciary remain an essential prerequisite to dispense fair and speedy justice and uphold Rule of Law for everyone. Will the independent judiciary give a new impetus to the process of accountability? Will the NRO, the blackest of the black laws, continue to haunt the nation as a disgraceful symbol of loot and plunder? Will speedy justice be ensured in the notorious Bank of the Punjab scam, where NAB, our apex accountability body has been fighting a losing battle in the Dogar court? Will the miseries of the missing persons'families be brought to an end and the honor and dignity of their beloved ones be restored so that they can get on with their lives in the service of the country? Why not make public the NAB inquiry into the infamous 2006 multi billion Sugar scam? Why not prosecute the perpetrators of the 2005 stock market crash, shamelessly engineered to fill coffers of a few, leaving the majority of investors as paupers? Is it now time to jumpstart NAB's accountability punch which has been under severe strain from vested forces since early 2008? Where is the much awaited independent accountability commission under the judiciary's control that was promised a year ago? The 'Kiyani model' worked. The Army reinforced its image as a supporter of democracy. The question arises, why did things come to such a pass that the COAS had to play the role of the neutral umpire? Where was the parliament whose members enjoy hefty pays, perks and privileges at the tax payer's expense? If there is one good thing that has happened in Pakistan in last few years is the media revolution. Those debates on national issues which should be held in the parliament are now the pride of our television channel talk shows, where the true worth of the political representatives stand exposed. Media withstood all pressures and made a significant contribution in sustaining and guiding the lawyers' movement to its successful finale. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the Long March crisis was the alarming degree of involvement and influence of foreign intermediaries from UK, US and the Gulf States in Pakistan's domestic affairs. The fact that every internal political showdown draws in foreign mediators reflects poorly on our leadership's political maturity. Such blatant interference in our affairs has now crossed all limits and must be halted. Remember they all would be too willing to penetrate deep into the corridors of power and politics of a nuclear-armed nation. President Zardari must now act as a leader and not the ruler. All his thoughts and actions must lead to a richer and prosperous Pakistan, committed to the betterment of the masses. March 16 served a befitting message to the feudal dominated parliament to respect the people's will and resolve national issues responsibly or face the people's wrath. One of the striking aspects of the lawyers movement is the emergence of a young and new leadership which is a good omen for Pakistan's future. The nation thanks the courageous lawyers, members of civil society and all political parties who championed the cause of a new Pakistan and made the nation proud. This is the first step in a long struggle to achieve the Quaid's dream of a strong, progressive and democratic Pakistan. On March 16 there were no victors, no losers, Pakistan had won. Tears of joy must roll for ever. The writer is a Retired Brigadier E-mail: