This neither is about the cold blooded killing of a family in Sahiwal, nor about the forced-disappearance of fellow-citizens by state-authorities. Neither am I writing to favour freedom of speech that has long disappeared in the state of ‘Naya Pakistan’, nor is it about the justice system that died in the courtyard of ‘doctrine of necessity’. This is about enemy at the gates, the gradual erosion and collapse of our social infrastructure, the endemic poverty and the growing inequality between the regions that ferociously has undermined the civil society and accelerated the trend towards militarization in Pakistan. Gender related crimes of various nature, social and religious intolerance, different educational system, population explosion, food security, socio-economic instability, health-care, law & order, unplanned rapid urbanization, restricted media, controlled democracy, external war threats with neighboring states and much more that are a priority issues in Pakistan. A substantial proportion of the population remains deprived of even the minimum conditions of survival, however, ‘powerful institutions’ are engaged in glorifying their existence. A recent study shows that as much as 64 percent of the population does not have access to piped drinking water. The percentage without ‘safe’ drinking water is probably larger since piped drinking water frequently carries bacteria. Almost 47 per cent of the people are unable to consume 2100 calories a day per person. The housing situation is so bad that 81 per cent of the housing units have on average 1.7 rooms which are inhabited by an average of seven persons. The literacy rate is low and the standards of those few who make it to college or universities are plummeting at a dizzying pace. The overall consequence of these features is a growing pressure on a fragile democratic polity. A significant section of the population perceives that there is nothing in this growth process for them, which is a factor in the resurgence of sub-national groups. Consequently, a new conflict is emerging between centralized state structures and a polarized polity, which is associated with a heightened level of violence in society. A recent study shows that as much as 64 percent of the population does not have access to piped drinking water. The percentage without ‘safe’ drinking water is probably larger since piped drinking water frequently carries bacteria. Almost 47 per cent of the people are unable to consume 2100 calories a day per person. The housing situation is so bad that 81 per cent of the housing units have on average 1.7 rooms which are inhabited by an average of seven persons Failure to devise a strategy that could come to grips with this development crisis has been an important factor in social polarization and the resultant difficulty in strengthening democratic institutions, particularly a culture of democracy. In recent years, the polarization of society along religious, political, ethnic, communal and regional lines has been accompanied by an under mining of social values through which diverse communities lived together in a pluralistic society. The social polarization is now fueled by violence and various forms of banditry which have reached a scale that threatens not only the credibility of political institutions, but raises the question of whether governance based on a centralized state structure is feasible at all. Political instability and inability of governance in ‘Naya Pakistan’ is scaring away foreign investment and hurting the economy. Back in 60s, Pakistan was one of the fastest growing economies in the developing world and it was destined to rise up the economic ladder. In 1965, GDP per capita of Pakistan was $116. The countries which were lagging behind us in the 1960s have overtaken us a long ago. Today Pakistan’s GDP per capita is around $1,600 whereas GDP per capita of China and South Korea are around $8,123 and $27,538 respectively. Politicians are commonly blamed for politico-economic crisis, and are viewed in isolation, sans regional comparisons, to argue that our politicians and democratic system carry exceptional faults, which must be fixed via exceptional means. Comparisons are done ineptly with developed states to condemn our system. In the 1990s, unelected ‘powerful institutions’ overtly dismissed assemblies often following concerted campaigns by loyal analysts and journalists to paint the illusion of a complete meltdown of the system. Since 2010, things have become more covert with no unnatural dismissals of assemblies, but only of prime ministers via dodgy verdicts. Political incompetence is not but overambitious unelected ‘powerful institutions’ are the real cause of steady decline of democracy in the country. Soliciting civilian supremacy in Pakistan is similar to working against the interests of the country. With incessant deterring of a democratic pace, yearning for civilian supremacy is significantly hard to attain. The future of Pakistan rests in supremacy of law and the sooner is the better to recognize this basic right of the people to govern themselves. Over seventy years of an establishment-dominated political order, whether directly or in cooperation with civilians, has acted as speed-breaker to a prosperous, democratic and politically stable Pakistan. Personal pursuits of power by implying corruption, nepotism and dishonesty have not helped rebuild institutions but damaged them further. Unfortunately, the judgements and the accountability process we see today, in which favorites are being forgiven while those not falling in line have their due share of trials, is a blackmail of different kind. We have been at many political turning points before, only to see them turn into nothing. Yet anarchy, insecurity and a lack of consensus on all vital issues characterize the domestic scenario. The benefits of development have been unevenly spread, and mostly have accrued to the privileged classes. Egotism has been the primary concern of successive governments in Pakistan, and the trend has been maintained to this day. We live in an era marked by rapid economic, technological and social change around the world but not ready to cope with the changing global scenario. We are not even ready to bring sustainable change within. We have enemy at the gates but no one is ready to realize this, ignoring and behaving obliviously, if we keep this up Pakistan will be the loser. The writer is Ph.D Political Science, Civil Servant based in Islamabad Published in Daily Times, January 24th 2019.