Manan Ahmed traces the history of the "Pakistan is a failed state" meme:
This decades-long tendency to reduce Pakistan’s complexity to either “failure” or “stability” reflects, above all, a glaring poverty of knowledge about the real lives of 175 million Pakistanis today. Since 2007 alone, they removed a dictator from military and civilian power without firing a single shot, held the first national election since 1997 in which right-wing radical parties were soundly rejected and launched a secular movement for justice.
None of this matters, we are told, because Pakistan is facing “an existential threat” from “violent extremists”, as a State Department spokesman said on Monday. US generals and media commentators are hinting that a military takeover may be the only way to arrest the imminent “failure” to combat the “Talibanisation” of Pakistan and keep the dreaded nukes from “falling into the hands” of terrorist groups.
A comically exaggerated version of reality underpins such concerns.
Thoreau picked up on the cluelessness of the western media's portrayal of Pakistan a few days ago.