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When supposedly independent state institutions are used to serve the interests of the governing party, this process is called “politicization” of institutions (Pierre 2004:3).The politicization of state institutions takes place not only in recent states with hybrid regimes or defective democracies but also in old democracies with established rule-of-law traditions (Peters, Falk, and Pierre 2004).
Fourth, the PPP’s tenure, tainted by allegations of misuse of power and mismanagement, contributed towards the overwhelming victory of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in the May 2013 general elections.
As a result, the PML-N came to power and brought the accountability institutions under its control.
No state has thus developed truly independent institutions—institutions operating without any concern for the interests and concerns of the key members of the government (Collins 2011).
Yet, some political systems are quite clearly far more politicized than others.
The army has used anti-corruption agencies to hold civilian politicians accountable, while the sitting government has used them against political parties in the opposition.
Finally, the paper concludes that a high level of political animosity results in a high level of performance for accountability institutions.Indeed, the paper suggests that the same institutions that have aggressively convicted corrupt officials under some governments have entered into plea discussions under others, a fact which highlights that government transitions have serious effects on the conduct of supposedly independent anti-corruption mechanisms.Indeed, Pakistan’s anti-corruption institutions have largely been used by those in power to maintain their grip on the state by weakening their opponents.After a decade during which elected governments were regularly dismissed on grounds of corruption, Pakistan and its anti-corruption agencies have been overseen by four distinct governments since 1999.First, the state came under direct military rule on October 12, 1999 when General Musharraf overthrew the elected government of Nawaz Sharif, initiating a period of “military regime.” Second, a transition from direct to indirect military rule took place in October 2002 when the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-i-Azam (PML-Q), under the patronage of the army, emerged as the majority party in the general elections and ruled the country for the next five years.Second, the paper uses new statistical data to show that the NAB, founded in November 1999, has tended to side with the interests of the parties and people in government.In much of the recent research in security studies, Pakistan has been viewed as a serious threat to the region and the world because of the risk posed by terrorist groups potentially gaining access to the country’s nuclear explosives (Blair 2011, Clarke 2013).In Pakistan, the struggle over power often provokes people to spin the law towards their own interests and (mis)use state institutions to reach political ends.Under such conflictual circumstances, anti-corruption institutions are frequently used by the people in power to persecute opposition parties. First, it attempts to show that political disputes and the conflict between civilian and military authorities have not only led to the foundation of anti-corruption agencies at the national level—the Ehtesab Cell (EC) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB)—but also created a bias against civilian institutions in the legal provisions that regulate their activity.Critics of the armed forces of Pakistan usually cite the country’s beleaguered political history as evidence.Indeed, since independence in 1947, three military takeovers (1958–1971, 1977–1988, 1999–2008) have disrupted democratic governments.