Leakage of Abbottabad commission report has once again exposed the vulnerability of state institutions. Leaving the debate of whether the report should have been leaked in the first instance or not aside, it is now in public domain. Pakistani media is also discussing the statement of former ISI chief on weakening of state institutions or state itself. If present Pakistani government has to learn any lesson from the report, it is the lesson of strengthening of state institutions. Most Pakistani analysts though agree to the notion of frailty of state institutions but hardly propose any solutions to the problem. States survive and prosper on the strength of their institutions which actually provide stability to any state.
Only strong state institutions can assure faith of citizens in state. State is a permanent and ongoing entity whereas governments come and go but interestingly state institutions draw their strength from non-permanent governments. Politically elected governments reflect the will of the people which is then passed on to state institutions, who ideally then deliver to the citizens. The cycle of democracy, if allowed to run automatically, strengthens the state institutions. The role of leadership is equally important in the process.
In a society where political loyalties often prevail over state loyalties, owing to socio political differences on ideological basis, it becomes even more important that the process of democracy must always continue at all costs, at all levels. The roots of democracy are at third tier of government, now when provincial governments are in place the first and foremost service they can do is to hold elections for local governments. Such elections would give an opportunity to new leadership on one hand and would connect common man with state institutions.
Absence of local governments results in non delivery which then creates a kind of disconnect between citizens and state. Abbotabad commission has provided another opportunity to ruling elites of Pakistan to once again ponder over their political strategy and make political decisions in a way that strengthens the state. Hopes are high in anticipation of better and brighter future.
Australia, July 14.