For Pakistan, like the rest of the world, the Coronavirus proved fatal to different sectors, including the economy, in 2020. Industrial and business shutdowns left thousands jobless and increased poverty, while political activity faltered for a while. But as conditions improved, political heat was seen and many controversies arose.
Political conflicts and scandals began to surface in Pakistan even before Coronavirus in 2020, while the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) federal government and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on other issues including lockdown and rain in Karachi Disputes between the Sindh government and the opposition continued to surface, but the formation of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) by the opposition coalition in September this year deepened the rift between the government and the opposition.
The following are some of the various controversies and events that have happened throughout the year.
On May 22 this year, a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane crashed in Karachi, leaving only two people on board, while all 91 passengers, including eight crew members, were killed. Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan visited Karachi and announced that an investigation would be carried out to find out the real cause of the accident.
Later, Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, while presenting the investigation report of the Karachi passenger plane crash in the National Assembly on June 24, 2020, said that out of 860 pilots, 262 were found guilty in forgery.
Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan had blamed the pilot and the air traffic controller for the accident and said that the two had not adopted the usual procedure.
Following the federal minister’s statement, on June 30, the European Union imposed a six-month ban on PIA flights.
In a four-page letter to the PIA, the Executive Director of the European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) stated that ‘Article (1) 82 of the European Parliament and Council (EU) 2018/1039, Commission Regulation ( EU Aviation Safety Agency (AISA) to Pakistan International Airlines Corporation Limited (17 May 2016) under Appendix No. 2 (Part-ART) of ART, 235 (a) of EU No. 452/2014 Suspends Third Country Operator (TCO) License No. EASA.TCO.PAK-O001.01.
Heavy Rains Wreak Havoc In Karachi, PM announces Rs 1100 billion package
Rains and floods in Karachi and Sindh in July and August caused the worst damage, more than 100 deaths across Sindh, millions of people were affected, in view of the worst situation, the Sindh government declared 20 districts of Sindh, including Karachi, as disaster areas.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah in a press conference in Karachi on September 3, while informing about the damage caused by rains in Sindh, said that some areas of Badin, Umerkot, Mirpur Khas, Sanghar and Shaheed Benazirabad in Sindh are showing the river. The mud houses in these areas have been destroyed and the big city ie the taluka headquarters is also surrounded by water but thank God no water has stopped in the central areas of any taluka headquarters, people in the affected areas including their families Have taken refuge on the streets.
Informing about the loss of life due to rains, the Sindh Chief Minister had said that there were 100 deaths in the whole of Sindh out of which 63 occurred in Karachi and 35 in other districts of Sindh.
Prime Minister Imran Khan held a news conference with Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah after chairing a special meeting on measures for the city on the occasion of his visit to Karachi on September 5 and announced that whatever decisions are taken now It will be overseen by the Provincial Coordination and Implementation Committee (PCIC), which includes all stakeholders. However, the Pakistan Army has a big role to play in this as we will need the army on flood and sanitation issues. ۔
Prime Minister Imran Khan had announced a package of Rs. 1100 billion to solve the problems facing Karachi and said that both the federal and provincial governments would co-operate in it.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) had issued warning of desert locusts breeding in the desert areas of Tharparkar, Nara and Cholistan.
Locust infestation is a bigger economic threat than Coronavirus to Pakistan, said the American magazine Bloomberg in its report.
Bloomberg said in a report that agriculture is the second largest sector of the Pakistani economy, accounting for 20% of the country’s gross domestic product and half of the country’s workforce is engaged in this sector.
The report said that locust attacks could affect crop production in Pakistan and pose serious economic risks.
After months of suffering from locust attacks, Pakistani authorities have overcome the problem, officials have claimed to have eradicated the locust infestation.
Foreign Minister’s Controversial Statement On OIC
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, in a statement issued on August 5, one year after the repeal of Articles 370 and 35A to change the special status of Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, called on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) He spoke in a strong tone, which was viewed negatively in diplomatic circles, and even within the country. The statement was described as “inauspicious” for relations with Saudi Arabia, but the foreign minister later clarified his statement.
In his statement, the Foreign Minister had asked the Saudi-led OIC to refrain from holding back the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers on Kashmir.
Lahore Motorway Rape Case and Controversial Statement of CCPO Lahore
A horrendous gang-rape of a woman occurred on the Lahore-Sialkot Motorway in September, prompting outrage and protests across the country. Meanwhile, Lahore CCPO Omar Sheikh victim blaming added to the controversy and where the protests intensified, people also protested against the police officer.
Details of the incident revealed that a 30-year-old woman, a resident of Defense Housing Society, Lahore, along with her two children, got stuck on the motorway at around 1 am when her car ran out of petrol.
While the woman was waiting for help, two men came and took her and her children (under the age of 8) to a nearby field at gunpoint, after which the gunmen raped the woman in front of the children, after which they took cash and valuables with them.
Kashmore Rape Case, Police Officier Recieves Respect
A resident of Karachi and her four-year-old daughter Alisha were kidnapped and raped after a woman was called to Kashmore under the guise of a job scam.
The accused kidnapped the woman for 15 days. Meanwhile, the kidnappers continued to rape the woman and her daughter.
Fifteen days later, they released the woman without a baby and said that she should go to Karachi and bring more women, otherwise her baby would be killed.
The role of a police officer in the case of the gang rape of a 4-year-old girl Alisha and her mother in Kashmore is being appreciated.
When the accused released Alisha’s mother on the condition that she arrange another girl, she went to the police and said that the accused had asked her to bring another girl. Police officer Muhammad Bakhsh who made his own daughter call these criminals as a trap and get hold of the whole gang.
Later, Larkana police said that the prime suspect in the Kashmore gang-rape has been killed by an accomplice.
Prime Minister Imran Khan also lauded ASI Mohammad Bux Buriro and his daughter for their exemplary efforts in rescuing a four-year-old girl from men who tortured and gang-raped her.
Capt. (R) Safdar Arrested
The second meeting of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) was held in Karachi on October 18 and before and after this meeting there was a political heat.
Before the meeting of the Pakistan Democratic Movement in Karachi, Maryam Nawaz, Capt (R) Safdar had visited Mazar-e-Quaid. On this occasion, Captain Safdar and his workers chanted slogans in the premises of Mazar-e-Quaid.
Later on the night of October 19, Capt. (R) Safdar was arrested by the police on charges of violating the sanctity of Mazar-e-Quaid. His arrest was carried out from a private hotel. Capt. (R) Safdar was transferred to Aziz Bhatti Police Station.
A case was registered against Maryam Nawaz and Captain Safdar for violating the sanctity of Quaid-e-Azam’s mausoleum. Another 200 unidentified persons were also named in the case registered at the police station.
Former Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair had claimed that Sindh police was pressured to arrest Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar and the state conducted a sting operation.
The PPP chairman had demanded the Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and the Director General (DG) of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) to investigate the matter on their own.
Later, the Army Chief called Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and assured him of an investigation and directed the Corps Commander Karachi to immediately inquire into the facts and submit a report as soon as possible.
In addition, on November 10, the Pakistan Army’s Public Relations Department (ISPR) said in a statement that the incident took place against the backdrop of desecration of Mazar-e-Quaid. The Court of Inquiry has been completed and Sindh Rangers and Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) officers involved in the Karachi incident have been suspended.