As the Qur’an would say, it’s a clear sign:
Pakistan was carved out of the Muslim-majority areas of British India in 1947, the world’s first modern nation based solely on Islam. The country’s name means “Land of the Pure.” The capital city is Islamabad. The national flag carries the Islamic crescent and star. The cricket team wears green.
Humour (or the lack of it) aside, Mr. Dhume is correct: Pakistan was a “first” as an Islamic state in modern times when it was created in 1947. The separation of Pakistan and India was one of the largest–and bloodiest–mass migrations known in history.
Although the focus of Christians, Arabs and the Obama Administration is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the India-Pakistan divide (which took place at about the same time) is the largest flash point between the “region of peace” and the “region of war,” to use Islamic terminology. And both participants have had nuclear weapons for a long time.
Note: Sadanand Dhume is also the author of My Friend the Fanatic, about another predominantly Muslim country facing stress with its own hard-line Islamicists, Indonesia. An interesting profile of the Times Square “almost-bomber” is given here by Syed Saleem Shahzad, who is up to his usual excellent game.