Since India and Pakistan obtained independence from Britain in 1947, India has managed to remain a vibrant, if flawed, democracy, whereas Pakistan lost its eastern section (now Bangladesh) and is in real danger of becoming a failed state. No elected civilian government has ever survived a full term and the all-powerful military posses the nuclear bomb but cannot defeat its resident fundamentalists.
The British Council has recently published a report on the views of Pakistanis aged 18-29 and the findings are shocking. Only a third of those polled thinks democracy is the best system and a mere one in ten has confidence in the government. Three-quarters identify themselves as primarily Muslim rather than Pakistani and around a third favour Sharia law.
The “New York Times” covered the report in this article.