Pakistan Year in Review: 2009 Was a Testing 12 Months

December 18, 2009

Overview: Pakistan has been the ultimate quagmire. Suicide bombings, Taliban aggressions and violence plagued Pakistani civilians throughout the year while the Obama administration grappled with crafting an effective strategy in what is now referred to as the Af-Pak War. Collectively, foreign policymaking heavyweights attempted at a solution. Special Envoy Holbrooke spent months in the region, Secretary Clinton made multiple visits and media rounds this year, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee heard from General McChrystal on a troop surge which itself was hotly debated at length before ultimately being brought forth by President Obama. Despite the necessity of bilateral cooperation in obliterating terrorists, Pakistan and the United States grow weary of their alliance. Drones, intensifying U.S. relations with India namely the civilian nuclear deal, and deep hesitations on the Kerry Lugar Bill marred relations on the Pakistani side. And for the United States, the lingering concern that Pakistan should be doing more in the War on Terror and appreciate our patience with their efforts have made both states cynical partners.

Person of the Year: Unfortunately, the Terrorist. Al Qaeda militants who spilled over from the nebulous Afghan-Pakistan border have gripped the country and sadly had major impact on the lives of innocent civilians. Brazen, unprecedented violence in the form of suicide attacks on public shopping areas, children’s schools and even Mosques demonstrate how the terrorist paralyzed Pakistan in 2009.

Most Unexpected Event: Terrorists turning domestic. Pakistan has suffered the brunt of terrorist activity in 2009. The stereotype we have of terrorists today entails violent attacks on supposed “infidels”, or western international targets. But 2009 saw Al Qaeda gradually in cooperation with the Taliban, extend violent attacks on Pakistan’s predominantly Muslim population. Attacks on and around Islamic houses of worship even became a reality this year.

What to Watch for in 2010: Increasing democratization of Pakistan, despite a very likely change in regime. Former military General Musharraf may return in some capacity, and democratization should continue to progress by way of an expanding private media.  As per Musharraff’s reform in 2002, privatized Television channels have made extraordinary strides in disseminating information that is increasingly reflective of the masses, giving Pakistani’s a voice, and vehicle for change. Many consider the reinstatement of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry in March 2009 a direct result of privatized media who vociferously helped mobilize demonstrations such as the Long March. So, although security issues will continue to dominate until Af-Pak is stabilized, expect expanding television media that can help pave the way for a more moderate, democratic Pakistan.




  1. Pakistan needs to :
    1. Give up the policy of using terror ( Haqqani, LET etc) as instrument of Foreign policy.

    2. Give up the policy of strategic depth in Afghanistan. Afghans never liked the Pakistanis.

    3. After three wars, forget Kashmir and respect the status quo.

    4. Stop suppressing Baloch peoples wishes.

    Otherwise, you Pakistanis are heading towards total disaster.


  2. The present regime is the best that we ever had.Its achievements are obvious.Musharaf has been ousted,terrorists have been crippled famine has been averted,inflation is down to 10% from 25%,current acct.deficit is down to1b from 2b P.M.CIRCULAR debt is almost liquidated hectic measures are underway to end load shedding,courts and media are free and democracy is working.This does not sit well with the rogue GHQ who mindful of their shameful performance in their three stints want to see the back of this govt.before it is too late.Media and others are toeing


    • That’s a positive look at Pakistan on some macro trends Shaukat. Thanks for that information, it’s not often heard these days.


    • hi zainab how r u?
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  3. her line SC is also not above reproach.But USA has seen through the GHQ game and will not her to have her way.Since most of the generals are on the payroll of CIA so a la Iraqi generals they cannot move a muscle without her permission.So all is well in the STATE OF PAKISTAN.
    Media will make some hue and cry for a few more months before acquiescing in the inevitable victory of DEMOCRACY over all EVIL FORCES


  4. India has tried its best to stop the emergence of Pakistan in 1947, But failed. Now India is with his allies trying there best to break Pakistan. But remember, this will never happen.


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  8. A very good & informative articals.


  9. Zainab,
    I share your optimism. Pakistan is just too big to fail. In spite of all of the serious problems it faces today, I remain optimistic that country will not only survive but thrive in the coming decades. With a fairly large educated urban middle class, vibrant media, active civil society, assertive judiciary, many philanthropic organizations, and a spirit of entrepreneurship, the nation has the necessary ingredients to overcome its current difficulties to build a democratic government accountable to its people.



  10. its hard time for pakistan hope pakistan can get through it very quickly


  11. i totally agree with abrar.We Pakistanis rock and will rock the whole world very soon inshAllah.So we dint have to worry on the present sitution at all.we the youth are the future of Pakistan and INSHALLAH we will rule the whole world in the comin decades.


  12. hello everybody
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  17. AT the end , Pakistan will again start progress and we will be respectable in every manner


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