ISLAMABAD — Pakistan, which is known for its vital geographic location in the world, remained one of the most talked-about countries on the international news forums in 2021, sometimes for the right and sometimes wrong reasons.
From gruesome murders to assault of women, and then huge diplomatic achievements to historic victories in sports, all these events kept people glued to their television and computer screens.
As the last sun of the year has already gone down, here is a brief overview of the top news moments that happened in Pakistan in 2021.
On December 19, Pakistan hosted the 17th Extraordinary Session of OIC’s Council of Foreign Ministers on Afghanistan, called by Saudi Arabia, in Islamabad. The purpose of the summit was to rally Muslims and other countries and international institutions to the aid of Afghanistan, which is facing a humanitarian crisis.
Around 70 delegations from OIC member states, non-members and regional and international organisations attended the summit. Nearly 20 delegations were led by foreign ministers and 10 by deputies or ministers of state. The foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Tukey, Azerbaijan, Iran, Oman, Kuwait, Indonesia and Malaysia were present at the Parliament House for the summit.
In Pakistan’s Gwadar port city, hundreds of people staged a month-long protest against the government for not doing enough to prevent “illegal trawling” in the Arabian Sea. The protesters were of the view that the practice was depriving local residents of a major livelihood source.
According to the protesters, over 2,000 trawlers from the neighbouring province of Sindh have been regularly operating near the Gwadar seashore, though the provincial administration has not done enough to stop the practice.
Gwadar has been central to the multi-billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which promises to secure the economic well-being of the people by enhancing regional trade and connectivity.
The protesters later called off the sit-in in December after Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo visited the protest site and signed an agreement that acknowledged the government’s willingness to meet their demands.
Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai on December 9 announced her marriage to Asser Malik, making her followers flood her with congratulatory messages.
Yousafzai, who survived an attempt on her life in 2012 by a Taliban gunman in her native town of Swat, shared the pictures of the event across her official social media accounts. Her announcement on Twitter and Instagram collectively amassed over 650,000 likes, with many celebrities and notable names sending her best wishes on her big day.
“Congratulations, Malala and Asser,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote under Yousafzai’s announcement. “Sophie and I hope you enjoyed your special day – we’re wishing you a lifetime of happiness together.”
Priyantha Kumara, who worked as a manager at a factory in the city of Sialkot, was attacked and killed by a mob on December 3.
The crowd also publicly burned his body over what police said were accusations he desecrated religious posters.
Blasphemy is considered a deeply sensitive issue in Pakistan and carries the death penalty. International and domestic rights groups say accusations of blasphemy have often been used to intimidate religious minorities and settle personal scores.
On August 14, when Pakistanis were celebrating the Independence Day, a young woman TikToker, Ayesha Akram, was assaulted by a mob comprising hundreds of men at the Minar-e-Pakistan monument in Lahore. The incident caused a major public outcry.
Videos circulating on social media showed people tearing the clothes of the woman who was there to shoot a TikTok video. Police initially registered a case against 400 men and about 104 suspects were arrested.
The incident took a number of dramatic turns when Akram’s audio message with her friend, Amir Sohail also known as Rambo, surfaced on the Internet about the apparent extortion of money from the suspects.
On July 20, just when the Muslim-majority Pakistani nation was celebrating Eid, Noor Mukadam, the 27-year-old daughter of a former Pakistani diplomat was found beheaded in an upscale neighbourhood in Islamabad that shook the nation. The victim was the daughter of Shaukat Mukadam, a former Pakistani diplomat.
The prime suspect, Zahir Jaffer, was arrested at the crime scene on the day of the murder. The horrifying details of the murder drew furor on the Internet and social media, with #JuticeforNoor, #NoorMukadam and #ZahirJaffer trending on top.
The murder trial that began in October is one of the most closely watched in Pakistan’s recent history. At his indictment hearing in October, Jaffer admitted he had committed the “crime.”
Others charged in the case include Jaffer’s parents, Zakir Jaffer and Asmat Adamjee, three of their household staff, Iftikhar, Jan Muhammad and Jameel, and six workers from Therapy Works, a counseling center from where Jaffer had received certification to become a therapist and where he had been receiving treatment in the weeks leading up to the murder.
Pakistani rupee continued its momentum against the US dollar, and orther currencies in the open market on Thursday, as the local currency also improved in the inter-bank market.
On Thursday, the US dollar moved down and was being quoted at 283.2 for buying and 286.15 for selling.
Euro comes down to 308 for buying and 311 for selling. British Pound rate dropped to 358.5 for buying, and 362 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED witnessed slight drop and new rate stands at 77.4 whereas the Saudi Riyal remained stable at 76.
Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
|UK Pound Sterling||GBP||358.5||362|
|Hong Kong Dollar||HKD||36.41||36.76|
|New Zealand Dollar||NZD||174.54||176.54|
Gold price in Pakistan remained under pressure as the yellow metal moved down despite an upward trend in the international market.
On Thursday, the price of a single tola of 24-karat gold stands at Rs217,100 and 10 grams of 24k gold costs Rs186,130.
Single tola of 22 Karat Gold costs Rs199,000, 21 karat rate for per tola is Rs189,960 and 18k gold rate is Rs162,825.00 for each tola.
In the global market, gold prices hover at around $2026, gaining $8.30 on Thursday.
Today Gold Price in Pakistan (4 September 2023)
|Lahore||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Karachi||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Islamabad||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Peshawar||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Quetta||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Sialkot||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Attock||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Gujranwala||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Jehlum||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Multan||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Bahawalpur||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Gujrat||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Nawabshah||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Chakwal||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Hyderabad||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Nowshehra||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Sargodha||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Faisalabad||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Mirpur||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|