Those of us who gathered outside the Lahore High Court gate at GPO chowk on 15th March experienced the climacteric moment when a nation aspiring for democracy discovered itself anew. The People's Movement reached its apogee when that group of citizens stood their ground before the police baton charge and a barrage of teargas shells, until the police ran out of ammunition and the will to fight. At that precise moment the people achieved their moral ascendancy over the coercive power of the State. At about the same time, Mr. Aitzaz Ahsan at Zaman Park and Mr. Nawaz Sharif at Model Town broke through the barriers surrounding their respective homes to lead the "Long March". Earlier, groups of intrepid citizens from Quetta, Karachi and Multan had overcome all obstacles to reach Lahore, even as large numbers of citizens were gathering in Peshawar to move to Islamabad. The movement of such large numbers of people on the roads to Islamabad, even though peaceful in intent, was fraught with danger in an environment of rampant terrorism. Mercifully, at the eleventh hour, better sense prevailed in Islamabad. The Prime Minister after consultation with the President, in an act of statesmanship announced the restoration of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and his other deposed colleagues. The battle was won: The will of the people had prevailed as the foundational principle of a new democratic edifice. I have argued elsewhere that the Constitution of Pakistan was violated periodically by military dictators in the past, because the formal rules of the Constitution did not have an effective enforcement mechanism. For the Constitution to be sustainable, its principles must be located in the political culture, the core values and hence the consciousness of the people. It is only then that the people themselves preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. (power dynamics, institutional instability, and economic growth, forthcoming). The victorious citizens' movement essentially signifies that the people of Pakistan hold the principles of justice and liberty embodied in the formal institutional structure of the Constitution, so dear that they are willing to fight for it. This impulse to defend the Constitution and the rule of law flows from the will of the people that defines their collective identity as a nation. In this sense the victory of the citizens' movement signifies the re-birth of the nation. As the nation celebrates this victory, it is important to understand the context within which the struggle for democracy is being conducted: Pakistan is fighting a war of survival against the Taliban/Al-Qaeda combine, who seek to topple the State. The Taliban/Al-Qaeda have captured large swathes of Pakistan's territory, its political and social structure. They are at the gates of Peshawar and at the same time have established strong holds in Quetta, Southern Punjab and the port city of Karachi. The Taliban have thus developed the capacity to wreak violence and resultant anarchy in key regions and towns across the country. They expect these regional fires to coalesce into a wide spread conflagration as a prelude to their takeover. As the assassination of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and the attack on the Sri Lanka Cricket team show the Taliban/Al-Qaeda also have the ability to attack key targets with clinical precision. Their objective is to capture large parts or the whole of a nuclear armed Pakistan and to impose their particular version of 'Sharia' to establish a base area for a global 'Jihad'. It is evident that there can be no democracy without a state. Therefore, it is now necessary for all democratic forces to unite to provide the political consensus, the military strategy and the economic basis for the successful prosecution of the war to defend Pakistan. The writer is a professor of Beaconhouse National University.