Present political scenario in Pakistan and many other Muslim countries is dominated with the discussions and practical struggles as to how existing state institutions in respective Muslim countries may be replaced with such just and effective institutions which should be more responding to religious and social needs of the people. The driving forces behind this scenario are two types. The first are those who believe in armed struggle; these militant forces believe in weakening of existing state institutions to such an extent that respective state would become dysfunctional and resultantly be taken over by the militants. The second are those who are non-militant forces and their stated objective is just to reform existing institutions.
It may be appreciated that weakening an institution is a phenomenon when the institution is prevented from or fails in performing its assigned functions in just and effective manner; resultantly such institution is deprived of public backing. Whereas in the process of institutional reformation, the institution is not prevented from performing its assigned functions; rather, in the process, institutional structure is either modified or is erected altogether on new foundations. It may also be appreciated that reformation of state institutions can be done only by the state itself whereas weakening of state institutions may be done by non-state actors as well. As stated above, militant forces’ objective is to replace existing state institutions and for the purpose they strive to weaken the existing institutions, it is obvious they cannot succeed in their objective unless they acquire state power to reform the existing institutions. In other words, merely weakening of institutions would be meaningless and destructive only, if such weakening of institutions cannot be followed with constructive approach of reforming of institutions and reforming of institutions is not possible without state powers.
It seems that both militant and non-militant forces are unable to draw a clear distinction between the policy of weakening of state institutions and reforming of state institutions. We can see that militant forces often adopt policy of weakening of state institutions in the name of reforming of state institutions. The glaring example are Taliban who conduct destructive policy of weakening of state institutions in Pakistan in the name of reforming of state institutions. As mentioned earlier, because policy of weakening of state institutions is meaningless, if policy of reforming of institutions does not follow, and because state power is required to conduct reforming of state institutions, it is obvious Taliban’s policy of weakening of state institutions in Pakistan is meaningless because Taliban would never be able to take over State of Pakistan and assume state powers in Pakistan. The militants’ policy of weakening of state institutions may be fruitful in countries like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya- the countries where militants may assume state powers- where policy of weakening of institutions may be followed with policy of reforming of institutions through assuming state powers. Similarly many non-militant forces tend to adopt policy of weakening of state institutions in the name of reforming of state institutions. An example of this phenomenon is Qadri’s campaign we are currently witnessing in Pakistan. Despite all the noble objectives stated by Maulana Qadri, it is an obvious fact he cannot takeover State of Pakistan, which is an essential condition to conduct policy of reforming of state institutions. Any attempt to prevent state institutions from performing their assigned functions would be weakening of state institutions, and policy of weakening of state institutions is meaningless and destructive only, if it cannot be followed with policy of reforming of state institutions; as state power is essential to adopt policy of reforming of state institutions, and Qadri is unlikely to grab state powers in Pakistan, Maulana Qadri’s attempts may only be seen as policy of meaningless weakening of state institutions which would be destructive in nature.
From the foregoing, it should not be adduced that non-state actors may not play any role in reforming of state institutions. Reforming of state institutions is the job of state authorities but non-state actors may give their inputs and build up public pressures to make the state authorities reform the state institutions according to peoples’ aspirations and social, political and economic needs.