• The judicial ouster of Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, attacks on civilians by militant groups, growing electricity shortages, and rising food and fuel prices all contributed to turbulence in Pakistan. Religious minorities – such as the Shia-Muslim Hazara community – were killed in large numbers with no one held to account. The military dominated politics in Pakistan and operated above the law. A number of terrorism suspects and the military’s opponents were forcibly disappeared. The police committed widespread abuses, including torturing criminal suspects and committing extrajudicial killings, while law enforcement broke down in the face of attacks by armed militant groups. Abuses by state security forces and militant groups worsened in mineral-rich Balochistan.
  • Any promise of progress on human rights and security in Pakistan after elections last year has disappointed. Militant, terrorist, and sectarian attacks continue while the Pakistani government flip-flops on talks with the Taliban and serious counterterrorism abuses persist. Meanwhile, there is real uncertainty for Afghanistan as U.S. forces withdraw and the Afghan presidential election unfolds.

    Looking at a pivotal year for Pakistan and the region, experts debate the greatest threats to human rights and security, talks with the Taliban and other militant groups, and what kind of impact the United States, the international community, and civil society can have on security and human rights.