'Kurd' is a brand name with considerable cachet. That's why, the marketing gurus of the Lawyers' Movement did not need to burn midnight oil to secure a thumping victory for Mr Ali Ahmed Kurd as president of the Supreme Court Bar Association. Moreover, this victory was a forgone conclusion, given the support pro-movement lawyers enjoy among the legal fraternity on the one hand; and deteriorating standing of the pro-government lawyers led by the attorney-general, the law minister, and, to the chagrin of many jiyalas, Malik Qayyum, on the other hand. Even the use of government machinery by the law minister and his cahoots to buy the votes of the senior lawyers by bribing them different legal posts did not bear fruit. This victory, which, in a way, is reminiscent of February 18 triumph of the democratic forces, is indeed a new beginning, a new awakening, a new impetus for the movement of independence of judiciary, rule of law and supremacy of constitution; a fresh hope for the millions of Pakistanis who are facing the brunt of the economic and energy crisis confronted by the country today; a light at the end of the tunnel for the relatives of thousands of "missing persons" who have been made a scapegoat in the War On Terror; and an insidious blow to the present government's efforts to sweep the judiciary issue under the carpet. What this victory has brought home is the fact that the on-going struggle for the restoration of the superior judiciary that was unceremoniously removed from their offices on November 3 last year has not died down, as portrayed by some pro-government elements. On the contrary, it has, after a temporary hiatus - due to scorching heat, summer holidays, and the month of Ramazan - re-invigorated itself, and from now on, it is only going to get stronger and stronger in the able leadership of Mr Kurd. The massive turn out by the lawyers, members of the civil society, workers of the political parties and the traders at the weekly protest rallies, especially the one taken out on November 3 this year in Rawalpindi-Islamabad, besides the locking of the subordinate courts by the lawyers of the Lahore Bar Association followed by the registration of FIRs against the lawyers show that the movement is here to stay. One may disagree with the modus operandi of the Lahore Bar lawyers, but the fact of the matter is that it was after exhausting all the legal and moral options at their disposal that the lawyers took recourse to such an extreme measure. When 60 judges of the superior judiciary are sacked with just one stroke of the pen; when the members of the legal community are beaten, tortured and incarcerated merely for exercising their right to freedom of expression; and when an elected government is bent on giving indemnity to an usurper, it is naive to expect that the people would stick to the legal niceties any more and let others trample on their rights with impunity. In this backdrop, the victory of Kurd is a silver lining. A perfect mixture of passion and prudence - with a higher tinge of passion depicted by his fiery speeches, he has all the ingredients not only to counter these sophistries, broken promises and double talks of cunning politicians, but also to steer the ship of the on-going movement to a successful culmination. Moreover, he does not carry with himself the stigma of being associated with any pro-govt political party, as did his predecessor Aitzaz Ahsan. This is not to doubt latter's commitment to the cause, but the fact remains that he is a member of the central executive of PPP, and is bound to be influenced by the policies of his party. To the cynics, his decision not to stage the dhama was one of the examples of the influence his party wields over him. Having said that, we, the Pakistanis, are proud to have finally produced a leader of Ahsan's standing, who, despite his all-too-human foibles, continues to be the torch bearer in this struggle for the establishment of rule of law, supremacy of the constitution and independence of judiciary in the country. Nevertheless, the road ahead for Kurd, Aitzaz, Hamid Khan and other leaders of the legal fraternity is strewn with a lot of difficulties. The present political dispensation is adamant in its stance that the deposed judges have to take a fresh oath to be 'reinstated' to their offices. In the process, the government has, as per the terms and the conditions of the notorious deal, given indemnity to the November 3 actions of Musharraf. Lawyers' stance, on the other hand, says that all those actions were extra-constitutional, and hence the judges need not take a fresh oath; only an executive order would suffice - a view endorsed by the majority of the legal minds in the country and worldwide. At the critical juncture of Pakistan's history when we are almost on the verge of default, with foreign exchange reserves fast depleting, one fails to fathom the total vacuity of government's thinking as far as the judicial crisis is concerned. The PPP-led government should, instead of lingering the issue, solve it forthwith, so that all the energies could be focused on other potent issues afflicting the country. No investor is willing to invest in Pakistan, given the prevailing uncertainty within the judicial system of Pakistan, besides the deteriorating law and order situation compounded by the on-going War On Terror in the western borders of Pakistan. Shortage of energy, especially electricity, with the poor citizens facing 10 to 12-hour load-shedding a day, has further dampened the confidence of the rank and file in the ability of the incumbent government to deliver. Moreover, the long-awaited aid from the 'Friends of Pakistan' may not be forthcoming, and as a last resort, the economic moguls of the country will have to resort to IMF. In short, Pakistan is in an economic and financial predicament, which can be solved to a large extent by the re-instatement of the 'deposed' judiciary, thereby not only restoring the confidence of investors into the justice system of Pakistan, but also improving the law and order situation in the country. One hopes that the present government comes of age, and sheds it intransigence; otherwise, it will have to suffer the fate of the previous government and its mentor, Musharraf, whose removal from the office of president was made possible solely due to efforts of the lawyers' community. The writer is a corporate lawyer based in Lahore E-mail: naurnanqaiser@hotmail.com