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Pakistan

Yearbook 2017

2017 PakistanPakistan. A wave of bombings shook Pakistan at the beginning of the year, in the first month of which an explosion in a market in the city of Parachinar took the lives of 20 people. In February, 14 people were killed and over 80 injured when a bomb exploded among a group of demonstrating pharmacists in the country's second largest city of Lahore. Just a few days later, close to 90 people died and hundreds were injured in a suicide attack targeting a Sufic sanctuary in the city of Sehwan in Sind Province. According to Countryaah.com, the attack, taken by the terrorist group IS, was one of the deadliest in Pakistan in recent years.

Following the terrorist attacks, two major border crossings against Afghanistan were closed in February. However, these were reopened in March. At the same time, the country's army stated that it has begun to build a fence along the border with Afghanistan in an effort to fight terrorism.

2017 Pakistan

In March, a census was started with a view to getting a better picture of the country's minority groups. The census, which was carried out only a year before the parliamentary elections, had a political charge and was subjected to several deadly attacks. For example, in April at least ten people died of a bombing aimed at "the country's Shiite Muslim minority," according to a Taliban group that took the attack. The group claimed that the attack was also directed at the country's ongoing census.

A truck accident caused more than 200 people's deaths in June. The accident happened after the truck, full of fuel, overturned on a highway in central Pakistan. From the car, gasoline ran out and people rushed to get it right. But someone in the crowd lit a cigarette and a fire broke out, followed by a violent explosion. The explosion, in turn, set fire to a dozen cars and motorcycles.

According to OGRA, which is responsible for oil and gas regulations, Shell Pakistan was responsible for the accident, which according to the authority was caused by poor driving and vehicle failure. Thousands of mourners came to the funerals.

In the same month, at least 85 people were killed and more than 200 were injured in two bomb attacks during the same day in the cities of Parachinar and Quetta in the western part of Pakistan. Two different Sunni extremist groups claimed to be behind the attacks.

In July, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was forced to resign after the Supreme Court declared him unfit for office. The decision was made following a lengthy corruption investigation with links to the leaked Panama documents in which Sharif's children appeared. According to the investigation, the children had, among other things, luxury properties in London that the family could not account for. Sharif defended herself by buying the apartments legally, but critics said Sharif had used her political stance to increase family wealth. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was also banned by the court from holding a public job and left his ministerial post in November, according to Reuters news agency. Former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was elected as new Prime Minister in August.

In October, a court issued an arrest warrant against Nawaz Sharif, who was charged with two cases of corruption. Sharif dismissed the charges as a conspiracy. The indictment, which also included Sharif's daughter and her husband, came after an investigation by the Pakistan Anti-Corruption Agency (NAB).

A court in Islamabad in November ordered the authorities to disperse upwards of 2,000 protesters who, for over two weeks, blocked a highway between Islamabad and the neighboring city of Rawalpindi. The protesters were supporters of a radical Islamist group called Tehrik-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP). Islamists demanded the resignation of Justice Minister Zahid Hamid after the PML-N leading party voted in favor of a proposal by the minister to soften the blasphemy laws. The proposal was quickly withdrawn by the government, which apologized to Parliament and said it was all a mistake. Despite the retreat, the protests continued.

Pakistan was hit the same month by a thick smog that settled like a cover over parts of the country. At the same time, media stated that the pollutants in Pakistan, which are among the worst in the world, take more lives than terrorism does. According to global statistics from IHME (Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation), 159,000 Pakistanis were estimated to die prematurely per year due to smog and similar pollution.

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