I was wrong to forecast that it would be difficult for Imran Khan to knock-together a coalition government in my earlier writings. He has managed to build a multi-party coalition to form the government at the centre and in Punjab.But, to build the majority, he has to humble himself and compromise on a lot of the principles which he had maintained in his various puritan speeches — in which he had disregarded independent candidates as purchasable commodities. Yet, he allegedly had to buy them off to build his coalition. He also backtracked and joined hands with the Chaudhry’s of Gujrat, who he had once refused to accept when General (Retd) Musharraf asked him to join a coalition led by Chaudhry Shujaat. He also licked his words to get the support of MQM forgetting that he used to call them a party of criminals and also accused them of killing his party’s leader Zahra Shahid. So much so for his democratic principles, which are already being eulogised by some opportunists in the media. The opposition — which has been crying hoarse about the rigging in the elections — has also compromised and has decided not to rock the boat. This is understandable. Democracy has always been a tenuous project in this country.Since the PTI-led coalition has many partners, it would give the establishment the leeway to run a controlled democracy. The moment Imran Khan will try to take himself seriously as the Prime Minister and meddle in affairs which are considered sacrosanct by the establishment, his coalition partners will face blackmail and his government will be weakened. The opposition — which has cried itself hoarse about the rigging in the elections — has also compromised and has decided not to rock the boat. This is understandable. Democracy has always been a tenuous project in this countryThe people of Pakistan have lived through unstable political times since the country was born. This brings us to an essential question: why is democracy so weak in Pakistan?We have seen that within 15 months of its swearing in, the Nawaz government struggled to manage civil-military relations. Imran Khan’s movement against the government and a parallel call for a revolution by Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri made things worse. This makes this question all the more relevant. Let’s briefly review a number of factors that set the political, social and economic course of this country. To begin with, the Two-Nation Theory that evolved in the early 20th century was very weak. We have to understand that Muslims, despite being a small minority in India, ruled most of the Subcontinent for 650 years and did not claim that they were a separate nation. What then, was the basis for this theory?The major reason was that as it became known that the British would soon vacate India and leave behind a democratic system, the Muslims began to fear ‘Hindu majoritarian rule’. It should be remembered that the basic demands made during the Pakistan movement were secular in nature. The Muslims only wanted higher share in jobs and assemblies in Muslim minority provinces and more autonomy for Muslim majority areas. These demands evolved and expanded in the claim for a separate homeland for the ‘Muslim nation.’ The Congress, led by Jawaharlal Nehru, was not willing to budge and wanted a strong central government based on the strength of their brute majority. Thus the insecure Muslim minority was not sure that the democratic system, though it claimed to be secular, would protect their interests. In the 71 years of its history, Pakistan has been ruled directly by three military governments for 33 years — almost half of its life. I am not counting the fake democracies established by General Zia in 1985 and General Musharraf in 2002, because on record they were still ‘the Zia government’ and ‘the Musharraf government’Next, Pakistan’s establishment ran away from democracy in 1970-71when the Awami League in East Pakistan, which represented 56 percent of population of the country, swept the election and emerged as the majority party. The Awami League was also supported in its demands by National Awami Party, which had a majority in NWFP and Balochistan. The establishment did not accept that the Awami League in East Pakistan, with the support of smaller provinces in the west, has the right to have a constitution leading to maximum autonomy for the provinces.We have had seven governments in the first eleven years — this included the assassination of the first prime minister, the dismissal of governments by the governor generals, forced resignations and a soft coup by civil-military bureaucracy against the politicians. In the 71 years of its history, Pakistan has been ruled directly by three military governments for 33 years — almost half of its life. I am not counting the fake democracies established by General Zia in 1985 and General Musharraf in 2002, because on record they were still ‘the Zia government’ and ‘the Musharraf government’.If we analyse this situation, we can see that for 33 years we had military governments, and for about two years there were several interim governments. In the remaining 36 years, we have had 14 political governments, of which only the Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Zardari and PML-N governments completed their five-year terms. But none of the prime ministers ruled for five years straight. This means eleven political governments did not even survive an average of two full years. How on earth can a democratic dispensations perform in such unstable conditions?The writer is author of What’s wrong with Pakistan? And can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.orgPublished in Daily Times, August 16th 2018.