AMID mounting pressure on the government to resolve the judicial crisis, PML(N) Chief Nawaz Sharif's call to the general public to take to the streets on March 9 to join the long march in support of a free and independent judiciary would provide a big boost to the lawyers' movement. Those marching towards Parliament to press their demand for the fulfillment of the promise of restoring the deposed judges, would feel encouraged. Much also depends on whether the party decide to stage a sit-in at the end of the march, as the issue is still under debate. While announcing that his party would participate in the march, he said that democracy could not work without an independent judiciary. This seems as if the PML(N) chief is raking a defiant stance merely for the sake of it but given his assurance that he would not want mid-term elections and would fully support the government provided it implemented the Charter of Democracy and Murree Declaration restoring the judges, he is not entirely at fault. What is rather sad is that there is still no indication from the government about what it is going to do to put an end to this damaging stalemate. The official position at best is vague and one could not fathom the causes of foot-dragging. The other day President Zardari, according to reports in the media, said that he knew how to deal with lawyers. One would have wished that he had said something more categorical and constructive to explain the government's strategy for the reinstatement of judges. Later, Federal Minister for Information Sherry Rehman clarified that Mr Zardari's words had been taken out of context and that he did not want a confrontation with the protesting lawyers. Though her statement that the government would not create any hurdles to the marchers is positive, she nonetheless refrained from commenting on the reinstatement issue. The black coats, given their zeal and fiery statements from SCBA President Ali Ahmed Kurd, might find things getting out of control. There is a dire need that the protest, be it long march or sit-in, remain peaceful. Under the circumstances, the government ought to reconsider its stand. Foot-dragging and keeping the people guessing, would only result in creating resentment and ultimately force them to heed Mian Nawaz Sharif's call to join the long march. The retirement of Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar, that would leave the Chief Justice's slot vacant come March, should provide the government an opportunity to find an amicable solution.