"Forget about the restoration of judiciary to pre-November 2, 2007 position, for the judges who refused to bow down before a dictator have never, in the history of Pakistan, come back to hold their old positions" - these remarks by one of my colleagues were echoing in my ears, as I was being taken in a prison van to the nearest police station for challenging the 'writ' of the State on that fateful day of 15th March, 2009. At that time, I could not, even in my most pleasant dreams, imagine that with in next 24 hours, I would be witnessing the dawn of a new era - an era which would bring forth the defeat of dictatorial tendencies and a thumping victory for the democratic people of this country. Outside, the "battle of Lahore had commenced near the Lahore High Court premises with hundreds of tear gas shells fired from all corners. Notwithstanding the brutality of the Punjab police, I could see the determination and tenacity of purpose in the eyes of the lawyers, political party activists, civil society members and students who had gathered there to record their protest against the present political dispensation and its propensity to go back on its solemn promises. My sixth sense was telling me that victory would be ours. For the next six hours, before I was released from the police station, I could only hope and pray for the success of this historic movement, which has pinned new aspirations and hopes for the rank and file of this country. I was helpless, and at times considered myself really unlucky to have ended up in a police lock-up, whereas my friends were there on the streets of Lahore fighting a long-drawn battle. My thoughts were oscillating back and forth from being optimistic to utterly pessimistic about the fate of the battle of Lahore, as dramatic happenings started taking place outside, wherein the whole scenario had changed after Mian Nawaz Sharif, along with hundreds of thousands of supporters, made his way through all the obstacles and barricades into the roads of Lahore. At the same time, the lawyers and other segments of the society at the GPO intersection also showed their resoluteness and firmness as they resisted the police for more than six-hours through heavy rounds of tear-gas shelling and baton charging. As the people's power started overwhelming the state power, no one could now stop the well-deserved victory of the people of Pakistan, who have, for the last two years, left no stone unturned in striving for the rule of law, supremacy of constitution and independence of judiciary in the country. The die has been cast there and then. The address of Prime Minister to the nation in the wee hours of 16th march, wherein he announced the restoration of judiciary to November 2, 2007 position, was a mere formality now. The proud Pakistani nation had won - a triumph, which they would cherish for a long time to come, and which comes only second to the momentous victory of 14 August, 1947. As the nation celebrates the miraculous victory, one should not forget that the reinstatement of the higher judiciary to pre-November 3, 2007 position is only a stepping stone towards establishing rule of law and independent judiciary in the country; it is not an end in itself - it is only a means to and end. The ultimate objective must be to overhaul the whole judicial system in the country, which is reeling, for the past 60 years, in a cesspool of corruption, inefficiency and ineffectiveness. Moreover, the mindset of a common citizen who dreads the very thought of going to a court of law for adjudication, given the long-drawn procedures and trials involved, must be changed by taking concrete actions in this regard. The first step, therefore, must be to bring substantial changes in the terms and conditions of the appointment and tenure of the judges. The appointment in the higher judiciary on merit is of great importance, if we want to achieve independence of judiciary in the country. The present tendency of appointing higher court judges on political basis promotes corruption, favouritism for a particular group or party, nepotism, inefficiency and ineffectiveness, and above all, lack of trust in the judicial system as a whole. The solution lies in implementing the Charter of Democracy in the letter and in spirit, wherein all the superior court appointments would take place through a judicial commission, which would make sure that only capable, honest, and deserving lawyers, and not political workers or ticket holders of some group or party, are given this responsibility. Moreover, the terms and conditions of the tenure of the judges, like salary, perks and privileges, pension, gratuity etc need to be reviewed. One cannot expect justice from a judge who cannot even make his ends meet, and lives a miserable life devoid even of the basic necessities of life. In this regard, the recent increase in the salary and perks and privileges of the lower judiciary in Punjab is a welcome step towards achieving the goal of an independent judiciary, but this needs to be emulated in other provinces as well. Hazrat Ali (R.A) had rightly said that a judge needs to be well-paid and well-protected, so that the very thought of corruption and nepotism doesn't come in his mind. The responsibility on the shoulders of the re-instated Chief Justice, Mr Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry is, therefore, enormous. The People of this country take him for a messiah who would rid them of all the problems currently afflicting the judicial system in particular, and socio-political and economic problems in general. But this must be remembered, that revamping the whole judicial system cannot be done by the Chief Justice alone; he would require a lot of support and collaboration of the political government in this regard. Therefore, a close working relationship between the Chief Justice of Pakistan and the government is the need of the hour, not only to bring forth substantial changes in the judicial system of the country, but also due to the fact that we cannot afford further destabilisation of the political system. But this working relationship between two pillars of the state - executive and judiciary - will not be easy, given the trust deficit that exists between the two for the last two or so years. Both the Chief Justice and the government would need to exercise restrain and compromise, if they are serious in solving the problems of the masses, more so if they want to save the country from further chaos. Both pillars of the state can function efficiently within their own purview, without interfering in the working of the other, with the only exception of judicial review by the higher judiciary in the functions of the executive and legislature. But this is easily said than done. The rejuvenated judiciary will have to face a plethora of cases in which the federal government would be a party in one way or other, like NRO, Nizam-i-Adl ordinance in swat, Benazir murder case, judicial appointments on political basis, the fate of PCO judges, missing persons issue, drone attacks, and governor rule in Punjab etc. How the re-instated judiciary deals in these cases is yet to be seen. One hopes and prays that the hard-earned victory by the lawyers, political parties, civil society activists and students does not prove to be short-lived. We cannot afford another bout of political instability, given the deteriorating law and order situation in the country propelled by the so-called "war on terror" we are made to fight against our own people. Therefore, I request the Chief Justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, the Prime Minister and the President to work in collaboration with each other, completely forgetting the bitter experiences they have had between themselves in the past. Once they do that, I have no doubts in my mind that a new Pakistan would really be born - a Pakistan which would have as its hallmark an independent judiciary, rule of law and supremacy of constitution. The writer is a corporate lawyer based in Lahore. E-mail:naumanqaiser@hotmail.com