The sense of nationalism prevailing among the people is directly related to performance of public institutions. The sense of nationalism increases, if public institutions deliver social, economic, legal and administrative justice to the people; the sense of nationalism reduces, if public institutions do not properly deliver the justice to the people. The sense of nationalism is the sense of belonging at higher level of social identity in which all lower level social differences and peculiarities are submerged. If sense of nationalism is eroded, the lower level social differences and peculiarities emerge to level of prominence and consequently the nation is divided into self-centered and, in some cases, self-centric groupings based on sect, ethnicity, professional, political and economic interests. The formation of such self-centered groupings is actually sort of social response of various social groups each of them attempting to secure for itself social, economic, legal and administrative justice which, otherwise, has been denied to them by the poor performance of public institutions. The overall impact of such a situation is a sort of social chaos a glimpse of which can be seen in Pakistan today.
Man is called a social animal because man prefers to live in a society which ensures for the people provision of social, economic, legal and administrative justice through various state institutions. As long as these state institutions perform their duty of providing justice to the people, these institutions are respected and strengthened by the people through their tacit or vocal support for the institutions. But when state institutions deviate from their specified jobs and start falling short of providing justice to the people, such state institutions themselves become the first casualty of such deviation, and people start disowning and disrespecting such state institutions whose performance is further eroded due to lack of public support. The society reacts to such a situation in two ways: first, the social organizations established by the people on the basis of creed, ethnicity, professional, economic and political interests start becoming more and more self-centered. By developing self-centered approach, actually these social organizations try to obtain at least for themselves legal, social, economic and administrative justice denied to them by the state institutions which were under obligation to provide such justice to all national classes. In this way, sense of nationalism is eroded and sub-national peculiarities based on creed, ethnicity, economic, political and professional interests emerge as self-centered social organizations. Secondly, because state institutions have become weaker due to lack of public support, relatively stronger self-centered social organizations and state institutions start developing tendency of being self-centric and such self-centered and self-centric social organizations and state institutions start trespassing into jurisdiction of other weaker state institutions. A glaring example of such jurisdictional trespassing may be seen in the current imbroglio developed between a Pakistani media house and an Intelligence Agency which was put to media trial by the media house trespassing into judiciary’s and the government’s jurisdiction (It may be appreciated that Judiciary in Pakistan is powerful in terms of powers; but it is as weaker as other state institutions in terms of dispensation of justice and consequently in terms of public support). The way a private commercial organization like the above mentioned media house proved itself adamant to dictate state policies, and, in the way of doing it, did not flinch in even playing havoc with vital security interests of Pakistan, understates the high degree of threat to the very existence of state whose institutions do not properly deliver justice to the people.
Any society divided into self-centered and self-centric social and state institutions cannot survive for long period of time. If effective social check is not put in place, social organizations’ and state institutions’ tendencies of becoming self-centered and self-centric go on increasing like parasites which feed on very social fabric in which such self-centered and self-centric social and state institutions are originated.
We may conclude that the issue of fragmented society in Pakistan needs to be approached in terms of performance of state institutions and their willingness and capacity to deliver social, economic, legal and administrative justice to the people. State institutions properly delivering justice to the people become the most potent means to enhance sense of nationalism and a strong coherent society. Otherwise, a plethora of self-centered and self-centric social and state institutions is emerged, which weakens the very social fabric which provides foundation to submerge sub-national peculiarities and to transform the society into a coherent whole.