The country is being torn asunder by religious bigotry, political belligerency, journalistic aberration, and judicial disarray. The constant policy and institutional failures have eroded the state writ and distorted the institutional equation. The situation is grave. The state is under siege and faced with multiple perennial threats. The collective will of its institutions is at stake. Hope for redemption is getting dimmer. With the adoption of the Objectives Resolution as the preamble of every constitution and the existence of salient constitutional provisions regarding the status of the country as the Islamic Republic under a Muslim Head of the State and adoption of laws in conformity with the Islamic injunctions and tenets, the religious leaders should have concentrated on reforming and raising the society on Islamic moral and social teachings for a bigger purpose instead of dividing it into intolerant and violent sectarian factions. Unfortunately, they transformed their seminaries into commercial ventures and, in the process, became tools in the hands of some Muslim states to advance their brand of Islamic killing and maiming their brethren in faith. With the failure of the state to provide education to the common people and reduce social and economic inequality, the populace at the base of the societal pyramid proved an easy victim of the religious demagogues swelling the religious factions. The financial profitability of the religious centres, seminaries, and shrines worked as an added incentive to widen and perpetuate the sectarian divide. In the current political belligerency, no consensus is expected from our myopic leaders on issues of national gravity. This religiosity tolerated by every government has turned into a state within the state. The state has no control over its domestic and foreign donations and the revenue from shrines and seminaries. Their mosques, shrines, centres, seminaries are unregistered and unregulated. A religious icon and owner of seminaries in Karachi, on his demise, reportedly left a hefty bank balance of over Rs 4billion. Every government and political party has tried to placate them notwithstanding their involvement in frequent violent demonstrations and humiliation and murder of high state officials and senior political activists. Would there ever be a government to muster the courage to lock horns with this mad bull? One can only hope with fingers crossed. The imposition of the second Martial Law by dictator Zia ul Haq changed the political culture and the institutional equations in the country. General Ayub Khan’s Martial Law remained in force for a few years. With the promulgation of the 1962 Constitution, the soldiers were returned to barracks and his rule was given a civilian façade with basic democrats and elected National Assembly. He kept the military institutions away from the corrupt and polluted atmosphere of politics. Though he relished his undeserving title of Field Martial, he ruled the country with all accouterments of a civilian leader. General Zia was a different breed of a soldier and went a whole hog committing all indiscretions to entrench the soldiers in state institutions and in the despicable act of eliminating old political stalwarts, and cherry-picking, grooming, and launching a new crop of political pygmies to control the political process. This continued for whole eleven years under the umbrella of Martial Law; changing the political landscape of the country. This lot of politicians was least bothered by the political and democratic norms. They were rather proud of – and beholden – to the military establishment for their political careers. The overwhelming majority of a current lot of the ruling elite belongs to the Zia stock. They were sustained in power by the establishment for long years. In the ensuing controlled political process, they not only created their political constituencies in the client-patron political system with the help of the powers that may be but started considering it their birthright to rule this country without any challenge. They introduced into the political process all abusive tools and dirty tricks to humiliate and discredit their challengers. Whatever they did against their political opponents in the past has come back in a full circle to hound them. Their opponents took a leaf from their playbook to throw them out of the political arena. Now they are all out to put everything at stake fanning political belligerency, crippling the legislation process, spreading disinformation, creating political uncertainty, maligning the judiciary and military establishment by every possible trick including fake video and audio messages fabricated by a horde of social media activists disregarding the economic and foreign policy challenges we are faced with because of the fast-changing global geopolitics and consequential strategic changes in the region. In the current political belligerency, no consensus is expected from our myopic leaders on issues of national gravity. They are hell-bent to take their pound of flesh from the breathless state – a clear sign of a crumbling nation. The print and electronic media are divided into political lines free from moral professional scruples. They have long ago stopped separating the wheat from chaff looking for truth. Social media has eroded the distinguishing line between fact and fiction, truth, and falsehood. The majority of the news disseminated by senior journalists through Facebook, Youtube, Whats app, or Messenger is fake, tainted, and distorted to serve the purpose of a political group or dynasty for obvious considerations. This free use of social media has confused and staggered our gullible people. The excessive use of social media has steered the people into a hazy situation in which there is no credible leader in the country, all ills in our political and judicial systems owe a great deal to the establishment, nothing moves in the country without Army and America. Our journalists are least bothered how all this is undermining the public trust in the state and its institutions. The recent judicial decisions have attracted a spate of public criticism. With the senior judges going public for having succumbed to external pressures in their landmark judgments or allowing convicts and under-trial prisoners in serious corruption and money laundering cases to go abroad, the judiciary has dealt a severe blow to its public standing as the fountain of justice. The author was a member of the Foreign Service of Pakistan and he has authored two books.