Samuel Johnson, the famous English poet and moralist, once remarked that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. The saying couldn’t have been truer in the case of Pakistan.
Intolerance toward anyone with dissenting views is very characteristic of this society. Anyone with a different opinion on religion or politics is called an apostate or a traitor respectively. This tendency is just one manifestation of deeper problems: continued failure of pluralist democracy in Pakistan and dangerous polarization in its society.
Pakistan experienced its first ever democratic transition after the national election in 2013 when Mian Nawaz Sharif, leader of the Pakistan Muslim League (N) party, won the poll and formed the federal government. However, tales of strained relationships between the ruling PML-N and the “establishment,” a term generally used to refer to the powerful military, have been abundant throughout the tenure of his government.