“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” (Lord Acton)
Power: the ability to control people or things. This very phenomenon is going to frame the world order and statecraft as well. The state with ‘absolute power’ distributes the thread among institutions to practice its authoritative role within its territory. State’s institutions are the guarantee and saviors of the free will of a state and supporting pillars for acquiring a national interest. However, power pursuit among the state’s institutions disturbs the harmony needed for the credibility, integrity, and stability.
Geostrategic location of Pakistan is a very fact that places the state in a pivotal position for regional and global politics. Hence, Pakistan support is pre-requisite for the worldly powers, as evident from Soviet invasion in Afghanistan, 1979 to War on Terror (WoT), 2001. The carrot and the stick diplomacy by hosted countries dragged Pakistan into the quagmire of internal and external threats.Pakistan provided the shoulder to the foreigner guns for the subjugation of their rivalries which in return afflicted more to Pakistan than the target.
As Sun Tzu in The Art of Warfare states that ‘All warfare based on deception’, following the notion, the warmongering polar world beguiled the state with the deceptive spoon of ‘billions of dollars’ to work on the phenomenon of ‘do more’. It hoisted aloft dependency tag which jeopardized the very basic pillar of statecraft i.e sovereignty. Eventually, it is indispensable to bolster internal cohesiveness against external challenges that threaten the National Security of Pakistan. Therefore, Institutional cooperation within their ambit is a dire need of the time.
Any state constitutes some institutions which help the state to be on a strong foundation. Power pursuit among the state institutions is inimical to the national interest and national security. In Pakistan, it is evident through a series of events when institutions confronted with each other either with obvious or curtained measures. Recently, on 2 October 2017, Islamabad witnessed the power show among the state institutions when circumstantially one state organ “mysteriously seal off court trying ex-PM”, in response to that political pole came up with “Interior Minister threats to quit if culprits not unmasked”. Though it might not be a conscious move as it turned into intentional one but propagated as institutional conflict within a state.
Pakistan is fortunate to have democracy back on track which helps to stabilize the social, economic and political paradigms. The term of Civil-Military relations is always one abiding theme that structures Pakistani politics. It is a prevailing phenomenon that “politicians cannot remain too popular for too long” and that power struggle always being supportive to foreign actors than Pakistan.
“Pakistan’s rulers have sustained themselves and an authoritarian structure of power by renting out the country’s strategic location to the highest available bidder.” (Rentier State: Aasim Sajjad Akhtar)
Pakistan is vulnerable to a number of threats and a vicious nexus of non-state actors and world proxies is a sword of Damocles still on the soil which warrants a proactive approach to comprehensive planning and viable strategy. Thus, it is essential for all the state institutions to work collaboratively for the attainment of collective interest. Prosperous and stable Pakistan is an assurance to the regional and international actors which can only become up with visionary and long-term policies by state actors. Therefore, the mode of struggle for power must be covered with the blanket of National power; enhances the capability of the state against internal and external threats to protect the state values.