A piece that I wrote with Asad Sayeed for The Friday Times. This piece was written before the long March and the subsequent developments that include the restoration of deposed judges.
The two years old lawyers’ movement is now entering its decisive phase. It started in March 2007 as a spontaneous, vibrant expression of fatigue with a military dictator, after which the lawyers mobilised Pakistan’s inert middle classes and sections of civil society against the arbitrary ouster of the former Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, and his subsequent maltreatment at the hands of the security agencies. Within weeks, the political parties jumped into the fray and mounted a formidable challenge to an otherwise seemingly well-entrenched military rule. This was a critical year when General Musharraf had assured both the world as well as the nation of a transition to democratic rule. However, Musharraf’s efforts to direct the transition in his favour were forcefully countered by the lawyers through a judicial and political struggle that continues to date. […]