Contents: Preface. Introduction: The turning points. 1. The legacy of two bloody partitions. 2. Flawed leaders and failed democracies. 3. From military to civilian rule in Bangladesh. 4. From military to semi-military rule in Pakistan. 5. The Ershad Military intervention. 6. Electoral democracy is not enough. 7. Electoral democracy revisits Pakistan, 1988-99. 8. Pakistan's self-fulfilling prophecy: the military back in power. 9. Economic and social development and the NGOs. 10. Still on the brink after thirty-seven years. 11. Epilogue. Works consulted. Index.
"Since 1971, Pakistan has evolved into a praetorian state plagued by army interventions and corrupt civilian governments. Nevertheless, the tunnel-vision of General Musharraf triggered a political implosion in 2007, and widespread dismay over the assassination of Benazir Bhutto has led Pakistanis to vote overwhelmingly for unfettered civilian rule and the diminishment of religious parties. In contrast, the Bangladesh Army seems intent on returning control to civilians, having remained averse to power for the past seventeen years. Furthermore, Bangladeshi Society isn't nearly as Islamicized as Pakistan's, though Jihadi groups stands ready to exploit the government's weaknesses.
Milam takes a hard look at the political and religious realities of both countries, especially the al-Qaeda-linked Jihadi networks that threaten to permanently turn Pakistan into an ideological state. He also considers Islam's undeniable influence on the culture of both societies, and, in turn, the influence of these cultures on the tone and expression of Islam." (jacket)