Pakistan / by Lewis McKinnon

Pakistan’s parliamentary delegation met with President Erdogan on 18 August to demonstrate support for recent incidents in both countries. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif provided an open invitation for Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah to visit Pakistan to discuss combating terror in the region. Muhammad Masood Khan said his oath to become President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir on 25 August. Turkey and Pakistan signed a deal for healthcare cooperation and collaboration in the future, and the former also gifted Pakistan a warship tanker for their Independence Day. A new cyber law received immediate backlash from digital rights activists, who claimed that innocent citizens will be fined or jailed after the law is enacted because of its extensive prohibitions. A suicide bombing in Quetta killed 74 civilians, including many lawyers. The attack was claimed by the Taliban splinter group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar. China announced they will provide Pakistan with eight new submarines by 2028. Seven people were killed by unknown gunmen in Baluchistan province on 25 August, and 7 terrorists were arrested there two days later. One hundred and seventy five terror suspects were arrested in Punjab province simultaneously, in response to the Quetta hospital bombing. Pakistan’s military claimed they killed 14 militants near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, and destroyed nine hideouts. A woman was killed by her husband of 15 years, and a pregnant woman was killed by her former fiancé, on 7 August in Lahore. An employee of former dictator Pervez Musharraf, Mehndi Hassan, was abducted from his home on 28 August. Pakistan strengthened security after a warning of a terror attack by the Taliban at a crossing point on the India-Pakistan border. Hundreds of Pakistanis stranded in Saudi Arabia received cheques from the government as compensation after their identity cards expired. Pakistani MP Abdup Karim Bakhesh warned that Iran is attempting to form a military presence in Pakistan. The Pakistan air force took part in combat training exercises in the United States on 15 August. Ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi announced Pakistan’s economy is rapidly strengthening after a positive national environment, in a recent visit to the NASDAQ building in New York City. The Asian Development Bank will provide an $810 million multi-tranche loan to improve Pakistan’s power transmission system and boost the quantity and quality of energy. The Pakistan Stock Exchange (KSE) closed down 0.68 per cent after losses in the cement and fertiliser sectors. On 22 August the KSE fell again to 39,457.95. Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves settled at $18.1 million.