Pakistan, a country of 231 million multi-ethnic, multi-lingual people, is at the crossroads. The challenges of political polarisation, economic hardships, climate change, internal security threats due to religious extremism, and civil-military tensions are spiralling. The complex intertwining of the issues and the rapidly changing circumstances make it difficult to get a clear understanding of the dynamics of polity and society. The situation poses a challenge to a set of stakeholders, both internal and external, who support programs and policies for sustainable development of the country.
The article analyses why Pakistan’s power elites do not focus on urgent issues the country is faced with, and allow participatory politics in the country. One of the crucial factors is the civil-military relations. Bureaucracy was overpowered by the military in the early decades and it continues to dominate politics of the country. Both sides have been involved in self-serving battles that appear to be in a decisive phase with far reaching implications for domestic and regional security.