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Pakistan welcomes in 2010


ISLAMABAD, Dec. 31  — The year 2009 is the most devastating year for Pakistan which leaves the whole nation with a deep sense of gloom but still people are optimistic for the New Year.

Pakistan is passing through a critical juncture of its history in 2009, fighting for its survival and has turned into the battle field of the war on terror.

Terrorism is still a major problem in Pakistan despite a decade of the global war on terror and the astonishing aspect of the year2009 was that it witnessed increasing frequency of suicide attacks and bomb blasts.

North West Frontier Province (NWFP), Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Balochistan Province continue to be the most violent regions. Analyst said that the violent attacks are the backlash to the military operations undertaken in Swat, NWFP, and South Waziristan tribal area. It is widely believed that the vast majority of suicide bombers came from central Waziristan.

During the year, the country witnessed more than 150 violent attacks including suicide bombing and bomb blasts that killed and injured hundreds of people, including 1005 security personnel, according to a rough estimate.

The year 2009 also proved to be worst year for media persons across Pakistan as several journalists were threatened, abducted or killed.

Ahmad Khan, an educationist from the volatile NWFP, while talking to Xinhua on Thursday through phone said that terrorism is mostly taking its toll on education sector. He said that during the year 2009 terrorism overshadowed all the sectors especially education which was the worst hit by militancy. Hundreds of schools, especially for girls, were blown up in FATA and the NWFP regions, he added.

Two suicide bombers killed at least six people and injured 18 others at the International Islamic University in the Pakistani capital Islamabad on Oct. 20.

Ahmad Khan further said that the tragic incidents spread a wave of panic and subsequently educational institutions, including schools, colleges and universities, which had to face closure across the country for over one week.

Despite the gloomy picture of year 2009, people across Pakistanare confident that the situation will get normal and are determined to come over the crisis. Faheem, a student of Muhammad Ali Jinnah University (MAJU), said that 2009 was full of violence but it also brought some good news like resolving judicial crisis, Balochistan package for the people of the southern Province of Pakistan, seventh National Finance Commission Award agreed between the chief ministers of the four provinces of Pakistan.

Munawar Virk, a political analyst of Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS), a Think Tank in Islamabad, said that he is hopeful and there is no such things to be worried about. He said that every nation in the world has faced difficult stage and Pakistani nation have the potential to face challenges.

As the year 2010 is coming, a number of functions have been arranged in Islamabad and other big and small cities to welcome the New Year. Several school, colleges and universities are celebrating New Year functions even in NWFP, where the security situation is still uncertain.

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