This is with reference to the reported hold-up of the federal Minister for Defence by FIA who was stopped from proceeding to Beijing on the pretext of having his name on the ECL. The minister could have saved himself this embarrassment if he had resigned from the post as is the norm in other democratic countries. In any case, all Pakistanis are supposed to be equal before the law especially now that a powerful and independent superior judiciary headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry has emerged. The problem with the corrupt elite in this country is that they have not yet understood and digested that change is in the air. They still live in the past and consider it their right to plunder state assets, evacuee property, prime real estate, whatever they can. They survive without paying off their loans keeping their personal assets intact, abuse laws and enjoy unlimited powers of immunity reminiscent of the powers of the Moghul princes. After the NRO decision, though, nobody can impede the progress of this country. People want Pakistan of Quaid-e-Azam, not that of Ayub Khan, Zia ul Haq, Yahya or Musharraf. In a real democracy, rule of law and upholding of the constitution is foremost. In UK, former Prime Minister Tony Blair's wife, on a personal errand, was fined for travelling on the London subway without a ticket. In democratic countries that have strong institutions of accountability, even the family members of the heads of state do not use official transport for private work. If our politicians want strengthening of democracy, they must uphold the rule of law and present themselves for accountability. -SHAHZAD KHALIL, Sialkot, December 18.