Pakistan. Another child abuse raged in the district of Kasur at the beginning of the year. It was in January that seven-year-old girl Zainab Ansari was found buried on a dump. She was the twelfth child in two years who was brutally raped and murdered within a radius of 2 kilometers. The case caused great upheaval throughout Pakistan and especially in the Punjab province where Kasur is located. Parents in the area feared that a serial rapist would go loose and thousands of people walked the streets to protest the authorities’ inaction. Police stations were surrounded and politicians’ homes were set on fire, according to TT News Agency.
Later that month, a 24-year-old man was arrested for the offense. After the 24-year-old’s DNA was linked to the victim, he was sentenced to death in February. The man confessed to the murder and seven other child abuse cases, of which he had murdered five.
According to Countryaah.com, Islamabad is the capital city of Pakistan, a country located in Southern Asia. Several terrorist attacks targeted both schools and police and the military hit Pakistan in the spring and summer. Among other things, at least eleven soldiers were killed in a suicide attack in Swatdalen in February, and in March a police detention in Lahore was exposed to a bombing when at least seven people were killed.
The security situation worsened especially before the upcoming parliamentary elections on 25 July. With barely two weeks left until Election Day, Pakistan was shaken by one of the deadliest attacks in the country’s history. The attack was carried out at an election meeting held by the Baluchistan Awami Party (BAP) in Mastung district in southwestern Pakistan. At least 149 people died and over 180 were injured. Behind the act was the terrorist group Islamic State (IS), according to the group’s own news channel Amaq. Among the victims were BAP leader Siraj Raisani.
At the same time, the parties Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) and Awami National Party (ANP) were hit by fatal attacks. In one attack, MMA party leader Akram Khan Durrani and at least three other people died. In the second, directed at the ANP’s Peshawar election, 20 people died. Among them the party’s leading candidate Haroon Bilour.
To improve security during Election Day, the military deployed around 370,000 soldiers in the country. Nevertheless, an explosive charge was detonated at a polling station in the city of Quetta and at least 24 people died. Nevertheless, the elections were described as historic as it was the third time in a row that Pakistan conducted democratic elections. However, turnout was only 50%.
Winning did Pakistan’s Justice for Justice (PTI), which received 116 out of 272 seats. The major loser of the election was the former ruling party Pakistan’s Muslim Confederation Nawaz (PML-N), which received 64 seats compared to 129 in the 2013 election. The Pakistani People’s Party (PPI) received 43 seats. According to analysts, the much worse result for PML-N was due to the fact that the party’s electoral movement was weakened by the judges against its leaders and the country’s former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who last year was forced to resign after allegations of corruption.
In February, the Supreme Court (HD) decided that Sharif would resign – even as chairman of her party PML-N. Then his brother Shahbaz Sharif was appointed new party leader.
Yet another decision in HD in April, Nawaz Sharif banned from engaging in politics for the rest of his life. As the crown of the work, Sharif was sentenced just before the election to 10 years in prison for corruption by an anti-corruption court. Sharif himself claimed that he was subjected to a conspiracy. For example, he suggested in a newspaper interview that the country’s military wanted to dismiss him for trying to stop its support for anti-Indian groups.
The electoral movement received criticism from several directions. Among other things, EU election observers stated that “some parties” had been “disadvantaged”. Both journalists and political candidates claimed that the military was trying to influence the electoral process in order to favor PTI candidate Imran Khan. When the election results were determined, PML-N and about ten other parties merged with demands for new elections. Despite the protests, in August PTI leader Imran Khan was elected new prime minister after a majority of parliament voted for him.
In September, Arif Alvi was elected new president by an assembly of parliament and the country’s four provincial parliaments. That same month, the United States decided for the second time during the year to freeze aid money to Pakistan. The first time was in January. In total, the United States raised $ 555 million in pledged support money. The US stated that the reason was that Pakistan did not fully support the US strategies to fight terrorism. Analysts warned the US of the risks of losing influence in Pakistan, when the void would be filled by China. Pakistan and China have been approaching each other in recent years and China has invested US $ 60 billion in infrastructure projects in Pakistan linked to China’s new silk road.
During a visit to Saudi Arabia in September, Prime Minister Imran Khan invited Saudi Arabia to become the third partner in China’s energy and infrastructure project in Pakistan – the so-called Chinese Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Pakistan’s foreign debt to China has grown rapidly and the prime minister was expected to seek support from the Saudis to secure funding for several projects related to CPEC.
Among other things, Saudi Arabia was offered to make investments in a new oil refinery at a planned deep water port in Gwadar in the southern part of Baluchistan province. The port is located on the Arabian Sea and, according to news agency Reuters China, is the crown jewel when it is considered the gateway to the Middle East export market. After a Saudi delegation visited Gwadar in October, Pakistan’s oil ministers announced that Saudi Arabia had agreed to make investments in the port.
After Nawaz Sharif appealed in July against the Anti-Corruption Court’s decision on imprisonment for 10 years, he was sentenced in December to seven years in prison. However, Sharif stated that the verdict would be appealed again.