Prime Minister Gilani has agreed to reinstate Chief Justice Chaudhry, who was dismissed (along with others) under the Musharraf government. President Zardari had campaigned on a promise to reinstate all those who were fired by Musharraf, but delayed in bringing Chaudhry back, who many felt would pursue corruption charges against him.
Massive civil unrest followed, resulting in a government crackdown that involved banning large rallies, house arrest for Sharif, the more Islamist-oriented opposition leader, and a drop in popularity for Zardari. In a remarkable example of what an organized popular uprising can do, the following scene occurred:
“The government’s abrupt reversal came as a huge caravan led by Sharif bore down on Islamabad in defiance of a ban on the massive rally they planned for today. Police resistance had melted away hours earlier as the convoy left the city of Lahore, the center of Sharif’s power, with the crowd that accompanied him dismantling barricades along the 200-mile stretch of road. As the night wore on, thousands of followers flocked to the slow-moving convoy’s route, throwing rose petals and dancing by the roadside.”
Hopefully, a similar scene where the security forces dissolve in the face of an uprising can be repeated in Iran, but that’s another topic for another day.