Pakistan. 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.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG: Click to see the meanings of 3-letter acronym and abbreviation of PAK in general and in geography as Pakistan in particular.
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 Indian pilot.
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 Jaish-e-Mohammad.
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 currency.
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 Pakistan.
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 prohibited.
According to CountryAAH, the population of Pakistan in 2019 was 216,565,207, ranking number 5 in the world. The population growth rate was 2.040% yearly, and the population density was 280.9326 people per km2.