“If we can just get three or four elections strung together with full terms, I can guarantee good things will be happening,” Ahmed argues. That has not happened because the stakeholders always need something to happen in Pakistan right away. “Combat communism now. Expel Russia from Afghanistan now. Find Osama Bin Laden now. Don’t worry about this democratic thing.”

But Pakistanis, who have been the main victims of terrorism with over a thousand deaths last year alone, have clearly shown that they do worry about that “democratic thing.” Instead of peddling Washington’s chaos theories, the press should take care to listen.

Madiha R. Tahir is a writer in New York.