Dec 24, 2019, 12:47 PM
Journalist ID: 2053
News Code: 83606562
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Year 2019: Challenges and achievements of Pakistan

Islamabad, Dec 24, IRNA -- The outgoing year 2019 saw various challenges and achievements for Islamic Republic of Pakistan at internal and external fronts.

Pakistan during the year tried to maintain good relations with all states in the world; however, its ties got deteriorated with some countries.


In January Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Turkey and met with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He also visited the shrine of Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī in Konya.

In the month Prime Minister Imran Khan paid a two day official visit to Qatar. He met Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and other senior officials of the country.

In January Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Muhamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan visited Pakistan on a one-day visit. During his visit, he met Prime Minister Imran Khan and held delegation level talks wherein the two sides discussed the strengthening of bilateral ties and cooperation.

In the month Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa took oath of the office of Chief Justice of Pakistan.

In January Pakistan government announced new visa policy offering visas on arrival to visitors from 50 countries and electronic visas to 175 nationalities.

On 29 January 9 people including 8 policemen and a civilian were killed while 22 others were injured when gunmen and suicide bombers attacked a Deputy Inspector General's (DIG) office in Loralai, Balochistan. The Tehrik-i-Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

In the month of January at least 26 people were killed and 16 others suffered burn injuries as a result of the accident in Hub, Balochistan.


In February Pakistan Navy hosted a five-day naval exercise organized, Aman-2019, in which 45 nations took part.

In the month Prime Minister Imran Khan visited UAE on a day-long visit to participate in the 7th edition of the World Government Summit.

During the month a delegation of Saudi led-military alliance headed by Pakistan’s former army chief General (retd) Raheel Sharif visited Pakistan on its first-ever visit to the country.

In February Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman paid a two-day official visit to Pakistan. During the visit he met with countries top civil and military leadership top discuss bilateral ties.

In the same month tensions between Pakistan and US decreased as Islamabad helped to facilitate direct talks between Taliban and the US.

In the month Pakistan's air force jets shot down two of India's fighter planes, and captured a pilot, who was later released as a goodwill gesture.


The most important development of March was a phone conversation between Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The Iranian president during conversation said, “the terrorists, who are the instruments of other countries, should not be allowed to create distance between Tehran and Islamabad.”

In the month Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi did not participate in the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of OCI being held in Abu Dhabi.

He said Pakistan took the decision in protest to inviting former Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj as guest of honour at the inaugural session of the OIC conference.

In March tensions between Pakistan and India reached to an alarming level prompting the international community to ask both countries to exercise restraint and make efforts to de-escalate tensions.

Relations between Pakistan and India got tensed after a suicide bombing in Indian-Kashmir which killed over 40 Indian soldiers. New Delhi blamed Pakistan of being complicit in the attack, a charge that Islamabad has denied vehemently.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan in March granted bail for six weeks to former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to obtain medical treatment within the country.

In March former European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini visited Pakistan.

In the month an international Nowruz festival was held in Pakistan’s Islamabad with active participation of Iran and other countries where it is celebrated.

In March Pakistani nation celebrated National Day with a commitment to ensure progress, prosperity and a strong defense of the country. A massive military a parade was also held on the occasion.

In the month Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad paid a three-day visit to Pakistan. During his visit, Prime Minister Mohamad was also given Pakistan's highest civil award — Nishan-e-Pakistan — by President Dr Arif Alvi during a ceremony held at President House.


In April Pakistan’s Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) arrested most wanted terrorist belonging to banned Jundullah terrorist organization in southern city of Karachi.

In the month Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan visited China to attend second Belt and Road forum 2019. Khan also met Chinese leadership during the visit and engaged views to enhance bilateral ties.

In April Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan paid his first two-day official visit to Iran.

Imran Khan, who started his trip with the pilgrimage of Imam Reza (AS), the 8th Shia Imam Shrine in Mashad, was officially welcomed by President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran. After talks with Rouhani and attending a joint press conference with the president, he was received by Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.

In the month at least sixteen people were killed and thirty others were injured in a blast in Pakistan’s south western city of Quetta.

In April at least 14 people were offloaded from a bus on the Makran Coastal Highway in Pakistan’s Balochistan and shot dead by unidentified assailants.

During the month Pakistan’s Ministry of Interior notified a new visa policy under which nationals of 48 countries including Iran were allowed to get visa on arrival.

In April International Conference on Cooperation between Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey was held with the presence of ambassadors, academics, researchers, and students from the three countries at Meyra Palace in Ankara.


In the month the United Nations Sanctions Committee placed Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) leader Masood Azhar on its global terror list.

In May the Supreme Court of Pakistan rejected former Prime Minister Nawaz Shari’s plea seeking an extension in his six-week bail in corruption case.

In the month Pakistan conducted a successful test launch of the Shaheen-II surface-to-surface nuclear-capable ballistic missile with a range of 1,500 kilometers.

In May Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan congratulated Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the victory in general election.

In the month International day of Al-Quds was observed across Pakistan with mass rallies held to condemn Zionists’ atrocities against innocent people of Palestine.

Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen Pakistan (MWM) and National Solidarity Council of Pakistan organized rallies in different parts of Pakistan.

In May Prime Minister of Pakistan visited Saudi Arabia to attend the 14th summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). On the sidelines of the summit, he met King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, and also held talks with Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Afghan president Ashraf Ghani.

At the summit, he addressed the issue of blasphemy, the importance of de-linking terrorism from Islam and Muslim-led political movements, the progress of science and technology in Muslim nations, as well as regional issues affecting South Asia and the Middle East. Khan called on all OIC leaders to stand against acts of oppression throughout the world.

In May nine people were killed in a suicide attack outside a major Sufi Muslim shrine (data darbar) in the Pakistani city of Lahore.


In the month of June Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Kyrgyzstan to participate in the 2019 summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in Bishkek.

On the sidelines of the summit held a meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss strengthening of defense ties

In June Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani paid a two-day official visit to Pakistan. During meetings with Pakistani civil and military leadership he discussed bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qureshi in June addressing Political and Security Committee of the European Union in Brussels expressed concerns over rising tensions between Iran and the United States said that presence of the US forces in Persian Gulf poses a serious threat to peace of the region.


In the month of July Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan paid an official visit to the US. He met with U.S. president Donald Trump, and discussed refreshing of bilateral ties between Pakistan and the United States.

Before the bilateral meeting, the United States declared Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) as a terrorist organization.

In July a five-member Iraqi parliamentary delegation led by leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq Hamam Hamoudi visited Pakistan. 

In the month 18 people, including five crew members and 13 civilians, lost their lives after a Pakistan Army aviation aircraft on a routine training flight crashed near Rawalpindi city of Pakistan.

In July a train accident in southern Punjab province claimed 24 lives. The incident occurred when a passenger train collided with a cargo train parked at the loop line.


In August Iran's President Hassan Rouhani called Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan by phone to congratulate him Eid Al-Adha. During the talk he called for diplomatic settlement of Kashmir issue, saying that Iran advocates restoration of rights of the Muslims living in other countries.

In the month of August Pakistani opposition’s no-confidence motion against Chairman of Senate Sadiq Sanjrani failed.

The opposition needed at least 53 votes for no-confidence but fell just three votes short of victory. Five votes were rejected, while 45 were cast in favor of Sanjrani.

During the month four people were killed and 23 others were injured in a deadly blast in a mosque in Pakistan’s southwestern city of Quetta which also killed the prayer leader.

In August five people were killed and six others injured as a result of a remote controlled blast in Pakistan’s northwestern area of Upper Dir.

In the month Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan granted an extension of three years in service to the current Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

In August Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan made a telephone call to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to seek the Saudi help to ease the Sub-continent tensions.

In the month Pakistan test fired a 290 km range nuclear-capable ballistic missile to maintain a minimum deterrence level in the subcontinent.


In the month of September Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Saudi Arabia and met King Salman to discuss matters of regional and bilateral interest. 

During the month PM Imran Khan visited UAE and met with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed and held talks on regional and international issues of mutual interest as well as ways to enhance Pakistan-UAE relations.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the month while talking to media had urged Riyadh not to rush into decisions that could threaten the region’s peace and stability.

In the moth 26 passengers were killed and a dozen others were injured in a bus accident in northern Pakistan. The bus was heading to Rawalpindi from Skardu and with around 40 passengers, including 16 Pakistan Army personnel.

In September Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan traveled to US to attend the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly. Besides addressing the UNGC session he met various world leaders including President of Iran Hassan Rouhani. He also attended different think-tanks to deliver lectures.

In the month an earthquake of 5.8 magnitude on the Richter Scale jolted different parts of Pakistan, which killed many and injured scores of others.

In the month of September US President Donald Trump cancelled talks with Taliban. Pakistan reacting on the development said that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.

In September Adel Al Jubeir, Minister of state for Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia and UAE's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan visited Pakistan held meetings with Pakistani leadership to defuse tensions between India and Pakistan on Kashmir issue.


In October a high-level Afghan Taliban delegation visited Pakistan during which both sides agreed on the earliest resumption of the Afghan peace process.

In the month Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan as part of his initiative to promote peace and security in the region traveled to Iran for his second official visit to the country.

During the visit, the Prime Minister had meetings with Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani.

In the month Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Saudi Arabia. During the visit he met with Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

Prime Minister Imran Khan in the month paid an official visit to China and held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and discussed issues of regional and bilateral significance. He also met Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

In the month Pakistan Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, visited China where he met with Commander Army General Han Weiguo, People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and General Xu Qiliang, Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) to discuss regional security and situation in the Persian Gulf region.

In October Financial Action Task Force meeting was held in Paris where the FATF retained Pakistan on its grey list for four more months. Pakistan was given till February 2020 to fully implement the FATF’s 27-point action plan.

During the month six Pakistani soldiers and five citizens including a woman got injured, when Afghan security forces fired mortars and heavy machine guns from across the border.

Pakistan Army’s media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in a statement said the Afghan security forces fired mortars and heavy machine guns from Nari district in the Kunar province targeting civil population in Arundu village in Pakistan’s Chitral area.

In October seventy five people were killed and several others were injured when a passenger train caught fire in Pakistan’s eastern Punjab province.

In October the British Royal couple, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Prince William and Kate Middleton arrived in Islamabad paid a five-day visit to Pakistan.


In November Prime Minister Imran Khan visited China. He also attended the inaugural China International Import Expo in Shanghai as Guest of Honor.

In the month Pakistani opposition led by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F)’s Maulana Fazlur Rehman led in a sit-in demanding the ouster of Prime Minister Imran Khan however they dispersed peacefully after negotiations with the government representatives.

In November Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s was released from jail on medical grounds and was allowed to travel abroad for medical treatment.

In the same the government of Pakistan under Prime Minister Imran Khan launched a Border Monitoring Initiative (BMI) to check cross-border smuggling, causing huge losses to country’s economy.

In November Pakistan conducted training launch of surface to surface ballistic missile Shaheen-1. According to Pakistan army’s media wing Inter-Services Public Relations ISPR, the ballistic missile is capable of delivering all types of warheads up to range of 650 kilometers.

In the month Pakistan’s ministry for foreign affairs summoned Ambassador of Norway over the incident of desecration of the Holy Quran in the Norwegian city of Kristiansand.

In November Prime Minister Imran Khan paid an official visit to UAE. He held a meetings with his counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed.

In the month Queen Maxima of the Netherlands paid a three-day official visit to Pakistan in her capacity as the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Advocate (UNSGSA) for inclusive finance for development.

In November Pakistan and India opened Kartarpur Corridor which will allows visa free entry to Sikh pilgrims to Gurdawara Darbar Sahib (Sikh holy site).


In December the Australian government under Prime Minister Scott John Morrison decided to end 70 years old bilateral aid to Pakistan.

In the month Moody's Investors Services Credit raised Pakistan’s economic outlook from negative to stable.

In the same month a Pakistani high court granted bail to former president and Pakistan Peoples Party Co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari on medical grounds in corruption charges.

In December US chief negotiator for peace in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, visited Pakistan a day after he briefly suspended peace talks with the Taliban in Qatar in retaliation to attack by the insurgent group on the largest U.S. military base in Afghanistan.

Earlier Pakistan had welcomed the announcement regarding resumption of the US-Taliban talks, hoping the process would lead to intra-Afghan dialogue and ultimately to a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.

In the month Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan visited Saudi Arabia for the sixth time. During a meeting with Saudi Crown prince he said his country would continue to facilitate all efforts to defuse tensions in the region.

Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa during December visited UAE and met with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan to discuss defense cooperation.

In December Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan visited Bahrain for talks on bilateral cooperation. Later he visited Geneva to attend the first Global Refugee Forum as a co-convener.

During the month a Pakistani court awarded death sentence to former military ruler General (retd) Pervez Musharraf in a high treason case.

In the same month Russian Navy's Commander in Chief Admiral Nikolai Anatolyevich Yevmenov visited Pakistan and held a meeting with Naval Chief Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi to exchange views on matters of mutual interest, including promotion of cooperation between navies of the two countries.

In December Pakistan skipped the Kuala Lumpur summit soon after the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Saudi Arabia.

In the month Prime Minister Imran Khan telephoned Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and exchanged views on bilateral relations. Matters of mutual interest regional, international affairs and other issues also came under discussion.

In December Justice Gulzar Ahmed took the oath as 27th Chief Justice of Pakistan.

Pakistan in the month welcomed the announcement of preliminary results of Afghan Presidential elections held on 28 September 2019.


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