Pakistan Person of the Year, 2009

Posted on December 29, 2009
Filed Under >Adil Najam, >Owais Mughal, About ATP, Law & Justice, People
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Adil Najam and Owais Mughal

The faces of 2009 have been, for most part, sad faces.

There have been a few exceptions – like that of Shahid Afridi raising his hands after Pakistan’s T20 victory – but the exceptions have been few and far between. The faces that stand out in the images from Pakistan in 2009 are the faces of resilient judges, of thick-skinned politicians, of all-knowing media mavens, of courageous soldiers, and, indeed, also the faces of murdering suicide bombers.

But the faces that represent the reality of Pakistan in 2009 more than any other, are the faces of the Pakistani police. That feelings of angst, that feelings of living on the edge, that feeling of not knowing what might happen next, but, above all, that feeling of grit and a defiant resolve to keep standing no matter what the odds, are all captured in the faces of the Pakistani police that we have see too many times in 2009 as they battle on the front-line, one bombing after the other.

In gratitude, and in respect, we at All Things Pakistan feel that a most worthy choice for the Pakistan Person of the Year 2009 is the Pakistani Policeman.

All too often we, including on this blog, focus on the lighter side of the Pakistani policeman. The Pakistani cop is an all too familiar figure, one who does not often get the respect he deserves, and when the light-hearted comments are made out of fondness, it is all too easy to forget just how difficult their job is and just how under-resourced and under-appreciated the Pakistani policeman really is.

This has always been true, but was never more true than in 2009. All too often in this murderous year, the Pakistani policeman’s life – very literally – was the only thing between a suicide bomber and his would-be victims. 2009 saw too many Pakistani policemen paying the ultimate price in valor, in duty, and in courage. Today, we wish to salute all of them. Today, we proudly salute the Pakistani policeman who has stood – and who continues to stand – in defence of all of the rest of us. In a war where the front-line is every street and ever neighborhood, the Pakistani policeman guards the front-line.

Today, we wish to register our gratitude to the Pakistani policeman. Today, we wish to thank the Pakistani policeman. Even as we continue to pray for him!

50 responses to “Pakistan Person of the Year, 2009”

  1. SH says:

    Great choice! It’s really unfortunate that they have to “serve and protect” with such meager resources. Just standing at a checkpoint day in day out waiting for the next suicide bomber to approach is not the most ideal way to earn Rs. 10,000 a month.

  2. Talib Haider says:

    Wonderful choice.

    I would also like to pay a tribute to the Pakistan rangers who work with the police. Especially the ranger who has reduced the number of deaths by a large number in the Ashura procession.

  3. Saba Ali says:

    It has been a sad year and I think we al need to respect and honor our policeman for all the bravery they have showed. Good choice.

  4. Zaheer says:

    Your choice has really made us sit up and think.

    I you had asked me who should be Pakistan’s person of the year for 2009, this is probably not the answer I would have come up with. But now that you make the case, I cannot think of anyone better than the Pakistani police walla for this honor.

    Thank you ATP and thank you Pakistan Police.

  5. Mohammed Wasim says:

    Must say I was surprised to see this choice.

    My first instinct would have been to name Chaudhry Iftikhar for his comeback, or Zardari for being a survivor, or maybe Shahid Afridi for cricket, or a media person.

    But in thinking about it, I think you have a brilliant choice. The ordinary policewalla. The one who stands guards at buildings and at check points, he is the one who has shown bravery even without resources. I also salute them today.

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