Pakistan's year 2014 saw major anti-terror actions by the military against the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) in their safe haven of North Waziristan and elsewhere in the country. The year-end massacre of children at a Peshawar school further galvanized the nation against terrorism. Pakistan Tehrike-e-Insaf's political rallies against the government drew huge turn-out of young urban middle-class Pakistanis. Pakistani economy showed clear signs of improving confidence with 3G-4G mobile broadband roll-out, Chinese investment commitments and booming stock market. Key challenges are successful execution of anti-terror campaign and energy-infrastructure projects. Here are some the major highlights and lowlights of the year 2014 in Pakistan:
1. Outrage against the killing of 130 school children in Peshawar helped galvanize Pakistanis to fight terrorism.
2. Civilian casualties from terrorism in Pakistan significantly declined from 3001 in 2013 to 1774 in 2014, according to South Asia Terrorism Portal. Biggest drop occurred since OP Zarb e Azb started 15 June 2014 after the terrorist attack on Karachi Airport.
|Source: South Asia Terrorism Portal
8. Pakistan organized biggest ever arms show IDEAS 2014 in Karachi. It attracted 333 defense-related companies including 50 companies from Pakistan. Delegates from 50 countries attended the show this year.
11. Pakistan was accepted as an associate member of CERN, one of the world's top research labs, ahead of India.
1. Slow recognition of the existential threat terrorism cost a lot of lives and hurt confidence in Pakistani state and economy. Failure to convict terrorists made the situation worse.
2. Violence against minorities continued with some of the most horrific incidents of killing and burning of innocent people.
3. Abuse of blasphemy law took its toll on an increasing number of people...both Muslim and non-Muslim.
8. Thar drought and children's deaths exposed incompetence and corruption of Sind provincial govt. Pakistan ranked worse than India on World Hunger Index for the first time in history.
Key lies in successful execution of anti-terror campaign and energy-infrastructure projects. It'll be a huge challenge for all Pakistanis, particularly the political and military leadership of the country.
Here's a video discussion of Pakistan's Year 2014: