Is Pakistan a stable state? Is Pakistan a struggling state? Is Pakistan performing well on all key developmental indicators? Is its economy stabilized or a struggling one? Does Pakistan have a stable, calm and working political realm? A plethora of questions rushes to one’s mind as he thinks about the contemporary position of Pakistan. The answers to all of the above make it clear that Pakistan is not a prosperous and developed state. Rather, it is struggling with a lot of issues. There are various state institutions, which have constitutionally been assigned their respective mandate. The major ones are the judiciary, executive and political among others. These three are the key organs of the state. The fourth one is media and the fifth one is bureaucracy though the latter is under the control of the executive. While stretching the category of the executive department a little bit, it is made clear that it has several key institutions working under it: law enforcement agencies, economic institutions and even bureaucracy. All of them are going through a dire situation, which has impeded their growth and paralyzed them to contribute to the country’s good governance. We will first try to unveil the various crisis facing each particular institution and will put the way forward at the end. Starting with the issues of the economic institutions: the mounting imbalance in the trade regime, imbalanced fiscal policy, corruption, flawed taxation system, political instability, the deteriorated fabric of the rule of law, government negligence and improper ease of doing business among others. The economic realm has been coming across an unbearable current account deficit for years triggered by the imbalance in the trade regime wherein the exports have been outpaced by increasing imports. This has quickly depleted the dollar reserves which then has caused a current account deficit. The menace of corruption has clipped off the weak wings of Pakistan’s economy. The trade deficit is incurred when the exports are not diversified to increase the inflow of revenue against the consistent increase in unnecessary imports. Similarly, the fiscal imbalance has surfaced just by virtue of the low generation of revenue, setting expenditure beyond the means and spending the expenditure extravagantly. The menace of corruption has clipped off the weak wings of Pakistan’s economy. The unfortunate scene of political instability has further brought the affected economy down. Political instability deteriorates the confidence of investors both internal and external. Similarly, violent political turmoil disturbs economic activities inside the country. The poor structure of the rule of law has also pushed away the investors. Moreover, the government’s negligence in the economic sector has also affected the country’s economy. The market should not be left unchecked. However, the check must be rational. This is not seen anywhere because of the presence of the rentier, client and patronage politics. Furthermore, the country has been suffocated by the mounting debts. Likewise, various political institutions are facing various challenges. Starting with the electoral process, which is considered to be the very vent of the whole political realm, the said arena has been experienced struggling with a plethora of issues. Pakistan has yet to ensure a constitutional right to vote in a real sense. All the eligible citizens are allowed to vote. However, it is hard to have the desired results voted by the electorates. This is unfolded in the realm of rigging. Moreover, there is a huge gender gap in voter registration as 44% of female voters have been registered against 55% of male voters. The lack of awareness, baradari politics, and parochial and dynastic politics are some other menaces crumbling the electoral process. Pakistan has yet to come out of the power politics which is the main reason for even the ongoing political circus. Putting it more precisely, responsible, mature and national-based politics has been lost somewhere or perhaps has never been born. Thus, it is made clear that the House to which such a problematic electoral regime provides a number of representatives to legislate for the nation, would also remain flawed. The parliament has yet to play a real role where it would be seen keeping the government in order and legislating for the nation instead of being politicized. The parliament has been seen for quite some time working as a rubber stamp. Currently, it is in full bloom to dance warmly in the ongoing political opera. Similarly, the judicial realm has been facing a number of issues. This time, some new, though not new at all, crises have been added to the list: internal disunity and working for the outsider beyond its constitutional domain. Some of the grave issues facing the judicial institution of Pakistan are lacking transparency, openness and speedy dispensation of Justice, external interference, trespassing its decisions by other institutions, and politicization of the judiciary among others. Media is considered to be the fourth pillar of the state along with the other three key institutions of the state: legislature, judiciary and executive. The role of media in a country’s progress can hardly be denied since it is the media which has to show the merits and demerits of the work of various institutions. Unfortunately, Pakistan is still struggling with finding out a free, fair and transparent media regime where the responsibility of throwing information is carried out fairly. Media in Pakistan has highly been politicized, overwhelmed and manipulated. Similarly, the security fabric of the country has been broken once again for the past few months as shown by the intensity of terrorist activities across the country. This among others has put the various law enforcement agencies in serious situations to ensure peace and security. Moreover, they have also been struggling with various internal and external issues. They still need a sufficient budget to maintain their organizational and operational structure. They also lack intra and inter-departmental cooperation which has affected their performance. Likewise, Pakistan has yet to install a fully empowered local government despite being ordained by the Constitution under Article 140(A). The said Article provides for the establishment of fully authorized local government in areas of finance, administration and politics. Though Pakistan has some sort of local government (s), it is still falling short of installing a fully empowered local government. This is what has affected the country’s administration and good governance badly. The key reason behind such a failure is the deleterious political whim of the politicians sitting in the capital(s). Moving toward reforms, Pakistan needs not only to devise policies but also look at their implementation. The previous account of reforms shows that a huge number of committees were formed to suggest a durable way out of the long-standing institutional quagmire. However, none of them met with a durable outcome since all of them were lost somewhere at the approval or implementation stage. The only possible way out among others, this time is that all the key institutions must recognize their sole constitutional responsibilities. Moving beyond their legitimate borders and poking their noses in the matters of others have and will undermine their credibility and performance. The political institutions must show maturity and a sense of responsibility to carry out their role effectively. Political tolerance, mutual respect political opinion and mutual consensus are very much important for ending the ongoing political turmoil as the absence of the above triggers the death of democracy as propounded by the well-known work How Democracy Dies. Power politics must be replaced by broad and national-based politics. There must be free and fair elections whereby the citizens are allowed to choose their representatives freely. (To Be Continued) The writer has done his Master of Arts in English Literature and Linguistics from NUML Islamabad and can be reached at abdulsamad email@example.com.