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Graphic by Naseem ur Rehman

There is a lot happening in today’s Pakistan to warrant this discussion on whether individuals matter more or institutions. The aim is not to present them as binary opposites but only to see if and how they help each other glow, and what happens when they don’t.

The subject that is most close to people’s hearts, especially so close to the election, perhaps is the institution of a political party and the leader who heads it. A close look at the political scene clearly shows that most political parties are not just named after but are actually leader driven. This is how they take shape and it is only natural that they end up as dynasties.

For the purposes of this Special Report, however, we have picked some other themes which are no less relevant. How does a person holding the chief justice’s office affect the complexion and running of the institution of judiciary? There are some useful lessons in history and I.A.Rehman notes them diligently and lists them all.

Or journalism moving from print to electronic to digital to social media impacting individual journalists and making them stars that do not need an institutional framework to operate in.

In a country where, historically, the political system has remained dependent on the whims or personality of the army chief, military offers a classic case study.

The institution of school and the role played by an individual teacher is another area of interest, if only because “a creative teacher is a threat to the school as an institution”.

And finally art institutions and what they can or cannot do for an artist is also a subject of today’s report.


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