This refers to the editorial “Defining moment for Pakistan” (March 17). The Pakistan government has finally seen reason and accepted the demands of the Opposition. Though delayed, its decision to restore Iftikhar Chaudhary as the Chief Justice of Pakistan will go a long way in uniting the divided political class, which is crucial for democracy to survive in the country. If Pakistan is to become stable and peaceful and free itself from the clutches of the Talibanist elements, the political parties must take a greater share of responsibility. They should work for the people without indulging in fights for power.

Barun Kumar Mahapatro,


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The restoration of Justice Chaudhary is indeed a cause for celebration. It is difficult to imagine a democracy without an independent judiciary. Justice Chaudhary played a significant role in upholding human rights during his tenure. The role of Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, who took the initiative to defuse the tension triggered by the PML(N)’s stance, is also commendable.

As for Nawaz Sharif, he will now have to shoulder a greater deal of responsibility. His determination to restore the deposed Chief Justice seemed to increase only after the court disqualified him and his brother from contesting elections. And the PPP, which claimed to be a progressive force, failed to read the people’s mind and contain the unrest. However, at the end the day, the crisis stands defused, which is welcome.

Abdul Muqhtadir,


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That Pakistan is yet to start functioning as a democracy was amply demonstrated by President Asif Ali Zardari. No matter how wobbly a civilian government, the army is certainly not an alternative. Pakistani leaders should learn to resolve their disputes through dialogue. They should also understand that it is not the Sharifs or the Zardaris but the ordinary people who change the destiny of a country. Only they can rescue Pakistan from the Taliban and other fundamentalist forces.

K.S. Jayatheertha,


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It is heartening to note that democracy is thriving in Pakistan. The government has at last given in to the Opposition.

Had there been military rule, such a compromise would not have taken place, notwithstanding American pressure. This is a defining moment for not only Pakistan but also democracy.

K. Sivasubramanian,


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The credit for defusing the crisis in Pakistan should go to the Chief of the Army Staff, Ashfaq Kayani. President Zardari was obviously told to restore the judges or be prepared for a military takeover.

But Justice Chaudhary’s reinstatement will quell the unrest only for a while. Soon the political leaders will be fighting one another again.

Rohan Khurana,


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What could have been a smooth affair was allowed to turn into a street fight in Pakistan. Had Mr. Sharif and Mr. Zardari been wise enough to leave enough space for mutual adjustments, the need for the President to relent would not have arisen.

As for Mr. Sharif, it is obvious that there was more in his fight for the restoration of the deposed Chief Justice than what meets the eye. This is the last chance for the two leaders to keep the army at bay.

P.U. Krishnan,


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Although the U.S. and the Pakistan army brought pressure on Mr. Zardari to relent, it was the united will of the Pakistanis that scripted the triumph of democracy. The people’s power was on display earlier too — when Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan and when Pervez Musharraf was forced to step down. One hopes the people will eventually succeed in loosening the army’s grip on the political system.

M. Somasekhar Prasad,


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The events in Pakistan have proved that it is not possible for anyone — a dictator or democratically elected leader — to crush the aspirations of the people.

Only the people of Pakistan can save their country from falling into the hands of terrorists and religious fanatics. At last, there is hope that Pakistan will emerge from the darkness.

Brij Kishor Pandey,


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While Pakistan appears to have saved itself from the brink yet again and, in the process, even redeemed democracy, it is still not out of the woods. Much remains to be done to establish democracy there. The army continues to dictate terms and foreign powers continue to exercise power over the nuclear weapon state. It remains a moot point whether the powers that be have learnt any lessons in governance. Pakistan’s history does not inspire confidence.

Subramanyam Sridharan,