Pakistan 2002: The year that was
6 January 2003
The Times of India
Pakistan faced multifarious struggles during 2002 - ranging from instating a new government to tackling deteriorating socio-economic conditions and tense law and order problems. The year witnessed 27 major bomb explosions, most of them in the port city of Karachi (Jang, December 30). The counteraction against terrorism was widespread, not sparing even the elite in Pakistan. Apart from the arrest of doctors, a latest report in Khabrain (January 3) revealed that investigations are being carried out against an adviser to the Punjab government who has allegedly helped some Arab families and entrust them to a religious foundation. Among the provinces, Sindh was the worst affected having to contend with 1400 cases of suicides during the year on account of deteriorating socio-economic conditions (Ibrat, December 30). The state also faced heightened tribal clashes. Another front that Pakistan had to tackle was the severe water crisis. Water distribution to the provinces reduced by nearly 42 per cent by the end of December 2002, weighing heavily on the economy (Jang, December 30). The year also saw the beginnings of Islamisation of the state with the winning of the Islamic religious coalition, MMA.