CountryAAH, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
began his Asian tour in February to visit Pakistan. During
the visit, the Crown Prince ordered the release of 2,100
Pakistanis detained in Saudi Arabia. He also signed a $ 20
billion investment contract in Pakistan.
Tensions between India and Pakistan increased after at
least 40 members of India's paramilitary security forces
were killed in a suicide attack in the Indian-controlled
part of Kashmir in February. Islamist group
Jaish-e-Mohammad, who has his base in Pakistan, took up the
act. The group was also identified by India as guilty. At
the same time, Indian authorities accused the Pakistani
state of protecting terrorist groups operating from
Pakistani territory. Pakistan denied the allegations and
stated that they took the incident very seriously.
The suicide attack was one of the deadliest in the region
in many years and led to India withdrawing police protection
for five Muslim separatist leaders. In conflict with Indian
police and military, eight members were killed by
Jaish-e-Mohammad, three of whom were suspected of
involvement in the act.
Later in February, India attacked one of
Jaish-e-Mohammad's camps in the Pakistani part of Kashmir.
India stated that 300 extremists died in fear while Pakistan
claimed no one had died.
The conflict escalated further as the two countries flew
over the so-called control border. An Indian and a Pakistani
fighter aircraft were said to have been shot down by the
respective countries' air force and Pakistan captured an
At the end of February, gunfire erupted across the
border. Subsequently, Pakistan handed over the Indian pilot
as a "peace gesture", which advocated a certain step down.
India stated in March that at least 300 separatists have
been arrested since the attack. At the same time, Pakistan
announced that it had arrested some 40 extremists from
In the spring, the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
granted Pakistan a US $ 6 billion loan. At the same time, a
loan of between USD 2 and 3 billion was promised from the
World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Government
financial adviser Abdul Hafeez Shaikh explained that
Pakistan's debt to the outside world has risen to over US $
90 billion while its exports have fallen in recent years.
Pakistan was also hit with inflation problems and weak
According to the country's finance ministry, the
government was prepared to cooperate with the IMF to reduce
deficits and stated that it would lay a foundation for
increased growth in the country.
Shortly after the announcement of the loans, the central
bank of Pakistan raised its policy rate and in the
government's first budget, presented in June, there were
proposals for increased tax revenue and a number of savings.
In May, it was revealed that as many as 600 people, most
of whom were children, had been infected with HIV by a
doctor in a village in Sindh province. The doctor, who
himself was sick with AIDS, had used contaminated syringes
and the police investigated whether the doctor could have
intentionally transmitted the infection.
Five people, including three security guards, died in May
when three armed men entered a luxury hotel in the port city
of Gwadar and began shooting. The Baluchistan Liberation
Army said it was behind the deed, which was reported to be a
protest against the Chinese presence in Gwadar. China has
invested US $ 60 billion in the so-called Sino-Pakistani
Economic Corridor (CPEC), which in turn is part of China's
New Silk Road (BRI) infrastructure project. Gwadar is an
important strategic hub for China.
In the spring and summer, Pakistan suffered further
terrorist acts, most of which were directed at police,
military and religious minorities. Among other things, at
least 20 people died and 48 were injured in an explosion at
a fruit market in the city of Quetta in Baluchistan in
April. According to the provincial police chief, eight of
the victims were Shia Muslims. In the city of Lahore, at
least ten people died in May, several of whom were police.
Four Pakistani military personnel died in an explosion
near the Afghan border in June, and in July at least ten
soldiers died in two separate attacks against Pakistani
security forces in Baluchistan and Waziristan. The Pakistani
Taliban movement TTP, or groups within it, took on
responsibility for most of the killing.
Protests in Pakistani cities and in the Pakistani-ruled
part of Kashmir erupted after India approved a new law in
August that divided the Indian-controlled state of Jammu and
Kashmir into two administrative parts that would be ruled
from the capital New Delhi. A constitutional change would
reduce the autonomy of the region. Pakistan called the
decisions illegal and announced that it would expel India's
ambassador and call home his own. It would also impose trade
stops and stop train traffic between the two countries.
Since 1989, several separatist groups have fought against
Indian soldiers in the area and tens of thousands of people
have been killed. Many of the separatists, according to
media, want Kashmir to become independent, or become part of
In October, 70 people died and over 40 were injured when
several wagons on a train, which was on their way to
Rawalpindi, caught fire near the town of Bahawalpur. The
fire broke out when some passengers tried to cook breakfast
using two cooking stoves with gas containers that exploded.
A spokesman for the country's railways stated that gas tanks
are a common problem for longer journeys, although they are