April 2, 2014. In 1956, nine years after it appeared on the world map as a nation state, Pakistan passed its first national constitution that declared the country an “Islamic republic.” It was the first state in the world to take on that title. The constitution described the country as a “democratic state” that would be guided by “principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice as enunciated by Islam.” Six decades later, this Pakistani promise to bridge and reconcile the ideals of Islam and western democracy appears more imperiled than ever, at a time when the United States’ involvement in the country is deeper and more complex than ever before. Shahan Mufti addressed this political autoimmune disorder in the context of his reporting from post-9/11 Pakistan and focused on the period since 2007, when the former President Pervez Musharraf began to lose his grip on power.

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