Commuters were jubilant on Tuesday as a main highway into Islamabad reopened three weeks after an Islamist sit-in blocked it, as uneasy soul-searching grew among many Pakistanis over the government's capitulation to the protest demands.
But joy on the roads was dampened for many Pakistanis by fear that a dangerous precedent has been set. TLY had demanded the resignation of Pakistan's law minister Zahid Hamid over a small, hastily-reversed amendment to the oath election candidates must swear.
The demonstrators had linked the change to blasphemy, a hugely sensitive charge in conservative Muslim Pakistan. The government was forced to seek help from the military - widely seen as the country's most powerful institution - after a bungled attempt to clear the sit-in over the weekend devolved into deadly violence and ignited fresh protests in cities across the country including Lahore and Karachi.
The law minister resigned on Monday, with protest leaders saying the government would meet all their demands in a deal the army helped broker.
The largest English-print newspaper in Pakistan is not amused:
"It is a surrender so abject that the mind is numb and the heart sinks," wrote the country's leading English newspaper Dawn in a blistering editorial on the deal titled "Capitulation".
The military and the Jihadists are the two most powerful groups in Pakistan. They humiliated the government and clearly demonstrated that it'll bend to their wills. Why bother with votes when you can make the government squeal.