By S. Akbar Zaidi
THE country which was considered to be a basket case in 1971, is today offering a mirror to others on how developing countries can become a development state and is being referred to as the `development surprise` of the 21st century.
At the same time, it has also ensured that democracy is developing as a strong and permanent alternative to military rule, under which it has had many years of painful repression.
That this overwhelmingly Muslim country is also constitutionally and increasingly in practice politically secular is also a lesson for other Muslim majoritarian countries to emulate. The Supreme Court struck down a 31-year-old constitutional amendment and restored the country to its founding status as a secular republic, banning the writings of some radical Islamic ideologues.
The country which in the mid-1960s was heralded as a role model for other developing countries, where the international press had praised its military-led development model no end, stating that it might just reach the levels of development achieved only by the United States, has just appeared as the world`s 10th most failed, or failing, state. On the course towards reaching this rather ignominious distinction, this country has also been called “the most dangerous place in the world”, and a “rogue state with a nuclear arsenal”.
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