From the Economist:
By its recent chaotic standards, Pakistan had quite a good 2009. Admittedly, more than 2m people were displaced by fighting between the army and Taliban militants. The economy was in the doldrums. And a threat of political crisis, pitting President Asif Zardari against his main rival, Nawaz Sharif, loomed. Yet his government, a coalition led by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), looked stable. An injection of IMF cash—and a promise from America of an extra $1.5 billion a year—kept its creditors at bay. And the army, despite much suffering, won the biggest victories of a floundering eight-year campaign on its north-west frontier. Without catastrophic violence—an important assassination or a terrorist attack in India—Pakistan will be messy, but stable after this fashion, in 2010.
The army will also make a bit more progress against the militants. Goaded into action in early 2009, after the Taliban seized areas of North-West Frontier Province alarmingly close to Islamabad, it pushed them back ruthlessly. Compounding the Taliban’s troubles, their supreme leader, Baitullah Mehsud, who was responsible for a two-year suicide-bomb spree (and allegedly for the 2007 murder of Mr Zardari’s wife, Benazir Bhutto), was killed by an American missile last August. And in October the army launched an assault on his former fief, in South Waziristan. Alas, it has shown no interest in pursuing members of the other Taliban, Afghanistan’s former rulers, who have found refuge in Pakistan. More: