Showing off Pakistan’s achievements in 2014

Published: January 3, 2015
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This may just prove to be the year in which the foundation for a consolidated effort was laid, in the country’s quest to reclaim its lost glory of the 1960s. PHOTO: ONLINE/DEFENCE.PK

2014 was like any other year for Pakistan in the last decade, with socio-political and religious excesses taking the lion’s share of space in the newspapers of the country. And yet, despite being overshadowed by dismal news, there was no dearth of winning moments for our country.

In retrospect, this may just prove to be the year in which the foundation for a consolidated effort was laid, in the country’s quest to reclaim its lost glory of the 1960s. Progress was made in all domains of life. Some of those winning moments are herein under presented:

Admittedly, in a country forever under the sword of Damocles, constantly in trepidation where the next act of violence may stem from, steering the economy in the right direction is a daunting task; one that our policy makers seem to be doing just fine. The country ranked third in the top ten best performing markets in the world for the third consecutive year running. The light at the end of the tunnel is more intense than ever before, as the country proved to naysayers that no amount of persecution can diminish our resolve. Much like on the day after the Wahga attack, we jump back stronger every time things are not going our way.

In a rare show of proprietary, the country was finally able to raise questions on the unassailability of the two power brokers of the country, the malignant element within the armed forces and the hatred spewing preachers. The usurpers were given a fitting reminder of their culpability when Musharraf was presented in the magistrate’s court after having spent eight years as the country’s top boss. And the monopoly of the religious elite was checked when the civil society shouted out “wrong number”, in a PK-esque manner, to the callings of Maulana Abdul Aziz, of the veil episode fame (who had tried scurrying away from Lal Masjid fiasco like Alfrid does from warzone in Hobbit 3, in a women’s garb). Also, to add cherry to the top, the VIPs were finally reminded of the essence of punctuality when former interior minister Rehman Malik was thrown off the plane.

Throwing down their hands in exasperation, the public for the first time in history put its entire weight behind the armed forces, and the sympathies for the militants’ dissipated as the country chanted in unison, “Zarb-e-Azb”. This led to many a militant wetting their pants, as they scampered to get rid of the only Islamic element about them, their beards.

It became evident more than ever before that the religion of these militants, and the hard lines they draw, revolve around their own well-being. Just for exposing this fact, the Pakistan Army boys definitely deserve a pat on the back.

The politics of the country witnessed the vigour of 1969, 1977, and 2007/2008 without immediately being followed by a changing of guard at the top. It was a double win; we finally rose to rally for what is ours, while the armed forces in turn, reaffirmed their resolve to keep their khakis out of politics, and restrict themselves to barracks where they could best defend the nation.

The country acquired international recognition in its cause of educating children, notwithstanding the adversaries, when the city of Oslo witnessed the youngest person ever lifting the Nobel Prize amongst thunderous applause. Together with this, NGOs like Alif Ailaan kept the country on its toes, with constant reminders that more needs to be done, and more is being done!

Home-made drones (Pakistan is now also assisting Turkey in making drones), new industries regardless of the load shedding and venturing into the tablet market are all hallmarks of 2014. But the pick of the list is the auction held last April, due to which 3G and 4G systems of communication became available in the country. The next aim should be to make the country an export surplus nation in the domain of electronics.

Dramas and songs had never stopped but the return of the public to cinemas, that which has been gaining strength for some years now, only saw a rise in the last year. Moreover, nothing says tenacity and courage better than the fact that despite the constant barrage of news stories documenting violence, the top three grossing Pakistani moviesNa Maloom Afraad (earned more than a 100 million rupees), Operation 21 and The System – too had an element of violence about them.

Although there were a few low points, but the progress within this sector was too hard to ignore. Pakistan bagged silver medals in both Champions trophy and Asian games in hockey, Muhammad Waseem excelled in boxing, and the country was finally able to whitewash Australia in Test cricket after 32 years.

Also, the game of musical chair for the chairmanship of PCB came to an end ushering in a period of stability, and an international cricket team’s – Kenya’s – visit to the country portends a return of the cricket to the Pakistani grounds.

So there, even if a vast number of stories surfacing seemed gory, there is no denying that the country continues to stride towards a better future. And if this write-up seems too long, what can we say, Pakistan has a lot to show for itself!

Badar Chaudhary

Badar Chaudhary

An engineering graduate from Cardiff University, Britain, Badar tweets as @badarchaudhary

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Striver

    Overall a great article summarizing Pakistani achievements in the face of extreme adversities. Our resilience is legendary.

    You should have mentioned WAAR, The first film that untied the nation. It received standing ovations in many cinema houses. The other films you mentioned equally did us proud, of course.

    where were you during our nation’s great feat? You omitted to mention how the nation, through sheer unity, brought together our forever bickering, crafty and unreliable politicians. Unfortunately this was due to the Peshawar massacre of our children. It showed the conscience of our nation is alive and brimming with desire for justice and peace.

    people are naive but guileless when it comes to relations between the army and the politicians. There is no politician in the world I can think of, right now, who is more corrupt, dishonest, money-hording, then a Pakistani politician. They will sell the country and they are doing it right under your nose. Wake up !

    Do not disparage the army.The army is the only saviour this nation can rely on and trusts. Education at a UK university does not give you a licence to disparage a people who are laying their lives for the likes of you and me.

    Apart from that I like your article and I do not doubt your patriotism. Forgive me for my harsh words.Recommend

  • Humza

    I agree with a lot of what the author wrote. I think that 2014 will be remembered as a year where rule of law, respect for democracy and the basics for economic revival was started in Pakistan. After all, mass protests and mob violence did not force dictatorship or new elections, the army stood by the constitution and respected primacy of parliament, energy deals were finally started and a number of major infrastructure projects were initiated which stand to transform the economy. Inflation is at an all time low and markets are upbeat on the economy if things proceed as it is.Recommend

  • rationalist

    An eternal optimist who sees sparks of light in a sea of all pervasive darkness? Or a good exercise in spin-doctoring?Recommend

  • L.

    We are getting there. Inshallah it wont be long before we get to see the pakistan we saw in our childhood, the pakistan our parents speak of. all it takes is time and perseverance. Rome wasnt built in a day!

    Great article Badar :) Recommend

  • Keen Observer

    i’m sure people will jump in to claim this is not an exhaustive list and may start listing down negatives that may seemingly overrule all the good that has happened – but I choose to be an optimist here.
    This article made me happy :)Recommend

  • Mohammed Nabeel Pervez

    While a lot maybe happening in Pakistan we must not bow in front of the oppressors and continue to do our little role. Together we will be able to do a lot.
    Looking towards an optimistic 2015.Recommend

  • Prashant

    Wow… I did not know everything is hunky dory in Pakistan.Recommend

  • turtlehead

    regarding the 3rd Rank on the top performing economy of 2014, can you please share the link that bloomberg has provided? As this news does not reflect anywhere in world media.Recommend

  • cautious

    The challenge the entire “rule of law” section. Military hasn’t taken one step to remove it’s own extremist supporters and the govt forming a committee to study how to control extremism isn’t much of a substantive move. I might add that the Red Mosque leader is still preaching hatred and the only thing he currently fears it the few hundred citizens who are determined to protest against him.Recommend

  • Abdul

    Wow ! after reading the article I realized that Pakistan is doing so well for itself in economy, health, sports , education and technology. Wonder why they need all that US aid for.Recommend

  • izuber

    I support your optimism
    Thank youRecommend

  • izuber

    Ditto on above comments:

    Do not disparage the army.The army is the only saviour this nation
    can rely on and trusts. Education at a UK university does not give you a
    licence to disparage a people who are laying their lives for the likes
    of you and me.

    Apart from that I like your article and I do not doubt your patriotism. Forgive me for my harsh words.Recommend

  • Ahmed Ali

    One more thing that I would like to add here is the Nobel Prize that was brought to Pakistan by Malala Yousafzai. She is the youngest Nobel Prize winner.
    A Big achievement for Pakistan in 2014 !!!!Recommend

  • Oats

    It’s sad that people like you forget that the army has controlled Pakistan for over half its existence and even now exerts de facto control over many aspects of foreign policy. I am not going to debate the fall of Dhaka and countless other mishaps under intellectual luminaries like Ayub, Zia, Yahya Khan and Musharraf. Just remember that politicians are a reflection of society and your army officers are from the same society. So if you think that the “corrupt, money hoarding, dishonest” gene is confined to our politicians and doesn’t exist in our senior officers with untold business and real estate assets, I would advise you to go abroad to see how many former officers are settled and how they live. A strong nation comes from strong institutions and respecting the constitution. Democracy and people are not perfect but don’t kid yourself about military rule. Creating a banana republic with military dictators at the helm has caused more damage than any politician. The army and its proud soldiers have a job that they do with professionalism. We respect their sacrifices for the nation as much as our police. Don’t sully the majority with the few guileless officers who think they are above the law and can do whatever they want to civilians.Recommend

  • Mohammed A. Baig

    Badar, our performance in last Olympics was very depressing. there should be accountability for that.
    U have not mentioned our victory in Kabbadi World Cup 2015 where we came second in the men’s events amongst 11 teams. Our third position in the women’s events amongst 8 teams is also praiseworthy keeping in mind our Kabbadi teams do not get any help from the government; may be because the game does not belong to our ruling class’s circle. Our Snooker players are also getting top position in many international events.
    Alhamdulilah, I want the best for Pakistan but, because of Government’s complete incompetence there are so many things wanting in it. All patriotic Pakistani’s should in every possible way keep reminding and pressing the government to improve.Recommend

  • Striver

    It is equally sad that you forget that Pakistani politicians are the most deceitful, double-dealing, shameful characters you will find. They don’t care about Pakistan or its people. The army has the trust of its people.
    If you want their services for your country we will only be too glad to rent them to you. Good riddance.Recommend