The Gaddafi regime is now as good as gone and the only questions that remain to be answered are whether the man himself will flee Libya and how many more lives would be lost due to his senseless defiance. For the moment, however, the Libyan leaders 43-year-old grip on his country has slackened. The Green Square in Tripoli, the countrys capital and epicentre of the colonels influence and reputation in Libya and the scene of his great rallies, during which he exhorted the Libyan people to crush the uprising across the country is now the venue of one giant celebration. Every inch of it is adorned with the revolutions flags. The people of Tripoli have come out of their homes, but only to cheer on the revolutionaries to pursue further gains. This is where the revolutions leaders must pause, dissociate themselves from the bloodlust of battle, and exercise prudence. They must ask some vital questions are they ready to make the transition from revolutionaries to statesmen? They must ensure that their movement is not derailed by mutual mistrust and factionalism. The dissolving of their own cabinet, for failing to probe the death of their military commander Abdul Fatah Younis is a case in point. There is also the daunting question of taking over a country which, for 43 years, has been ruled according to the whims of a single individual. Viable alternative In such a scenario there is the challenging prospect of unearthing a viable alternative, or a unifying group of leaders, who can cement the aspirations of the people together. This task alone can dwarf the scale of the violence that has engulfed Libya over the last six months. The West is watching with bated breath as developments unfold. Powers outside Libya will congregate like hungry vultures to feast on the corpse. The attraction in this case is oil and soon new friendships and alliances, albeit with agendas, will be forged. The oil, however, belongs to the Libyan people and their well-being must be paramount. It must contribute towards restoring a shattered country with a faltering economy. The people of Libya have suffered for too long. The first step towards the restoration of their dignity and pride must be taken now by their revolutionary leaders who themselves must exercise calm and foresight in decision-making. Ensuring that Gaddafi and his sons would go through a fair trial and are held accountable for their alleged crimes is probably the best start. The new custodians of Libya must now forge ahead in creating a new identity and perception of a country that has been given a new lease of life. The recent past has been a series of kaleidoscopic events. The future will prove to be an invaluable education and everybody should learn from it. Gulf News