Flashback: Defining moments of 2011

Published: December 29, 2011
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A collection of the top Pakistan news that featured in 2011

A collection of the top Pakistan news that featured in 2011

Taking a look back across 2011, there is no doubt that Pakistan has been through a tumultuous year.

The stories below represent some of the top news articles that featured in 2011 based on both reader interest on The Express Tribune website, and overall news value.

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JANUARY  
Salmaan Taseer assassinated Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer attacked and killed in a firing incident in Islamabad’s Kohsar market by his guard Mumtaz Qadri.
O level student scores record 23 As A student in Islamabad, Ibrahim Shahid, set a new world record by scoring 23 As in Cambridge O level exams.
Raymond Davis faces double murder charge US diplomat charged for murder after killing two men on a motorbike in Lahore.
Slackistan banned in Pakistan Indie film Slackistan not cleared by the Central Board of Film Censors in Pakistan, effectively banning the film from being shown.
Viva Veena Veena Malik emerges as a controversial hero after an Express News interview pertaining to her appearance in “Bigg Boss 4”.
FEBRUARY  
Taliban release video of killing of Col Imam The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) release a video showing the killing of former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) officer Colonel Imam.
Winter Games: Skiing sisters from Punial make history The Wali sisters, who belong to Gilgit-Baltistan’s Punial Valley, bring home a gold and silver medal for Pakistan in the first South Asian Winter Games.
Army training centre hit, 36 killed A suicide bombing at a Pakistan Army training centre in Mardan killed 36 cadets.
Strike ends as PIA chief quits Ending one of the longest-ever strikes in the history of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), hundreds of its employees celebrate the ouster of the national carrier’s chief Aijaz Haroon.
New cabinet ministers take oath Pakistan announces a new, slimline cabinet, cutting its number from 54 to 22 but retains many members of the previous lineup with the notable exception of foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
MARCH  
North Waziristan tribes declare war against US A grand jirga of tribal elders from North Waziristan Agency say they will wage jihad against America to avenge those killed in drone attacks.
India hand 29 run defeat to Pakistan, set up final against Sri Lanka India beat Pakistan by 29 runs in the second World Cup semi-final in Mohali.
Shahbaz Bhatti assassinated Federal Minister for Minority affairs Shahbaz Bhatti killed in the I-8/3 area of Islamabad by three unidentified gunmen.
Pakistani policemen lynched in Bahrain Kashif, and another Bahraini policeman of Pakistani origin, Farooq Baloch, killed on duty during Bahrain riots.
Diplomat or not, Davis departs Raymond Davis – accused of being a CIA contractor and charged with killing two Pakistanis in Lahore released by a sessions court.
APRIL  
Moin Akhtar: Greatest loss to laughter Iconic comedian dies of coronary failure in Karachi. He was 61.
Mukhtaran Mai appeal: Delayed and denied Dismissing an appeal by gang rape victim Mukhtaran Mai, the Supreme Court  upholds the Lahore High Court’s decision to acquit five of the six accused in the rape case.
Terror strikes Karachi: Twin attacks on Navy buses At least four people killed and 56 others injured in two separate bomb attacks on Pakistan Navy buses.
Police arrest cannibals, recover flesh Police arrest two middle-aged brothers on suspicion of stealing and eating human flesh in an investigation into cannibalism in Bhakkar.
DG Khan shrine bombing: Death toll reaches 50 Sakhi Sarwar shrine suicide attack leaves 50 dead in Dera Ghazi Khan. Police investigations reveal that the attack was planned in Bajaur Agency.
MAY  
Osama bin Laden killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden shot dead deep inside Pakistan in a night-time helicopter raid by US covert forces, ending a decade-long manhunt.
PNS Mehran base under attack More than 10 terrorists attack the PNS Mehran base on Shahrah-e-Faisal Road, Karachi. At least 15 people, including Navy and Rangers personnel killed in the attack.
Wikileaks: Kayani wanted more drone strikes in Pakistan WikiLeaks cables reveal that the country’s military was requesting the US for greater drone back-up for its own military operations as long ago as January 2008.
Kharotabad fiasco: Security forces kill five foreigners Security forces claimed to have foiled a suicide attack bid in Quetta by shooting down five foreigners near a Frontier Corps (FC) checkpost in Quetta. Eyewitnesses claim no suicide jacket or explosive-laden vests were recovered from the bodies.
Saleem Shahzad: Missing journalist found dead Investigative journalist Saleem Shahzad found dead near the Head Rasul area in Mandi Bahauddin, nearly 130 kilometres from Islamabad, after going missing over the weekend.
JUNE  
Akbar Bugti’s grandson among six killed in Karachi firing incident Six people, including the grandson of former chief of Jamhoori Watan Party Nawab Akbar Bugti, killed in a firing incident in the Defence area of Karachi.
Rangers shooting: Extrajudicial killing caught on tape A young man is killed when Rangers shoot him in a busy area of Karachi. Video footage of the incident showed the Rangers killing Sarfaraz Shah, who allegedly had a pistol in his hand.
Suicide attack in I-8 sector of Islamabad A suicide bomber targets a branch of Silk Bank in the I-8 sector area of Islamabad.
Midnight terror: At least 34 killed in Peshawar Cantt blasts At least 34 people killed and over 90 injured, among them television journalists and a senior police officer, when two blasts rip through a marketplace in the garrison area of Peshawar.
AJK election fallout: MQM ministers tender resignations Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) ministers resigned from the federal and provincial cabinets along with the Sindh Governor. The MQM file a petition against alleged government interference in and the postponement of elections for the AJK Legislative Assembly seats.
JULY  
Oslo attacker feared ‘Pakistanisation’ of Europe Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian terrorist who killed more than 90 people in two attacks in Oslo, mortally terrified of the idea of several ‘mini Pakistans’ appearing all over the map of Europe.
Mumbai blasts: Over 20 killed, 141 injured Three near-simultaneous IED explosions in the Indian city of Mumbai kill over 20 people and injured over 141.
A province stoked: Mirza’s diatribe against MQM fuels tension in Sindh Zulfiqar Mirza launches a diatribe against the MQM. Inflammatory comments on the part of Mirza include “This province was here for centuries before you [Urdu-speaking migrants] came to this city hungry and naked [after Partition in 1947].”
Khar becomes first female foreign minister of Pakistan Hina Rabbani Khar became the first Pakistani woman foreign minister. Pakistan’s new 34-year-old female foreign minister wins instant fans in India where a flurry of flattering headlines greeted her first trip to the country.
Court releases terror kingpin, alleged killer of 70 Malik Ishaq, one of the founders of the dreaded terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), key suspect in the attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in 2009 and 43 other cases in which 70 people were killed, released on bail.
AUGUST  
Shahbaz Taseer abducted from Lahore Shahbaz Taseer, son of late Governor Punjab Salmaan Taseer, abducted from the Gulberg area of Lahore.
Diatribe of a lifetime: Hurricane Mirza shakes up political landscape Zulfiqar Mirza, during a fiery press conference in Karachi, announces his resignation from the Sindh cabinet, the Sindh Assembly as well as his position of senior vice president in the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
Pakistan creates new anthem record Enthusiasts gathered in Karachi  to create a new record for the most number of people singing a national anthem simultaneously – and they succeeded.
Judicial intervention: SC takes suo motu notice of Karachi violence With political forces struggling to contain outbreaks of extreme violence in Karachi, the Supreme Court steps in – taking suo motu notice of the continuous bloodshed.
Sarfraz Shah murder case: In swift trial, Rangers man is sentenced to death An Anti-Terrorism Court in Karachi hands down the death penalty to a Rangers official accused of extrajudicial murder of Sarfaraz Shah. Five other members of the same Rangers unit and a civilian Afsar Khan sentenced to life imprisonment.
SEPTEMBER  
Girl accused of blasphemy for a spelling error A student at the Sir Syed Girls High School in Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) colony Havelian, accused of blasphemy for erroneously misspelling a word in an Urdu exam while answering a question on a poem written in praise of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
Taliban hit list: Battleground shifts from headquarters to home Chaudhry Aslam, a senior police officer, infamous for his tough measures against notorious criminal elements, survives yet another suicide blast – this time at his residence in Karachi.
Sialkot brothers’ deaths: Justice catches up with lynchers On August 15, 2010, hundreds of people gathered in broad daylight in Buttran Wali, Sialkot, as Mughees and Muneeb were lynched, in full view of police officers. An anti-Terrorism Court Gujranwala (ATC) issued its verdict, sentencing seven people to death, six to life in prison, and giving all the policemen involved in the incident three-year terms.
London calling: Altaf Hussain hits back at friends, foes It was one of the few press conferences Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain has addressed since his self-imposed exile in London, and one that few will forget.
APC consensus: ‘Give peace a chance’ The All Parties Conference reaches consensus over a joint resolution which refutes all US allegations regarding the Haqqani network and sought a revisit of Pakistan’s policy towards the war on terror.
Karachi violence case: Supreme Court reserves its judgment The Supreme Court directed Sindh Advocate General Abdul Fattah Malik to submit a daily report to Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany on cases relating to crime in the city since July 24. The apex court also asked its subordinate judges presiding over such cases to deliver verdicts as soon as possible.
OCTOBER  
Imran Khan’s ‘tsunami’ sweeps Lahore The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) takes out a large rally at the Minar-e-Pakistan ground in Lahore. More than 100,000 supporters gather as a show of strength in what is traditionally the PML-N stronghold.
Dress modestly: Masked men enter girls’ school, thrash students Sixty masked men carrying iron rods barge into a girls’ school in Rawalpindi and thrash students and female teachers. The gang of miscreants warn the MC Model Girls High School in Satellite Town to “dress modestly and wear hijabs” or face the music.
Nusrat Bhutto, doyenne of MRD, dies at 82 Begum Nusrat Bhutto, former first lady of Pakistan and the mother of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, dies at a Dubai hospital. She was 82.
Afridi withdraws international retirement Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi reverses his decision to retire from international cricket.
Necrophilia: Man arrested from graveyard with bone-chilling story Mohammad Riaz, arrested from a graveyard, confesses to having defiled the corpses of 48 women in the Paposh Nagar graveyard in the last eight years.
NOVEMBER  
Filtering SMS: PTA may ban over 1,500 English, Urdu words A new PTA letter floating online orders the imposition of a “system” to ban select words in mobile SMS messages. The PTA later takes back the decision and says it will finalise a list after taking all stakeholders on board.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi joins PTI Former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi resigns from the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and formally announces his decision to join the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) at a rally in Ghotki.
24 soldiers killed in NATO attack on Pakistan check post An early morning attack by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) helicopters kills at least 24 security personnel and injures 12 soldiers on a Pakistani check post in Salala.
Haqqani offers to resign; Mullen confirms existence of secret memo Pakistani-American businessan Mansoor Ijaz reveals senior leadership in Pakistan had sent a memo to Admiral Mike Mullen through former Ambassador Husain Haqqani asking the US for help against the military establishment.
Sherry Rehman appointed Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Sherry Rehman appointed Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US after Husain Haqqani resigns in light of the Memogate scandal.
BBC taken off air in Pakistan by cable operators BBC World News taken off air by a number of Pakistani cable television operators after proclaiming to ‘ban’ the channel for airing anti-Pakistan programming following a NATO air strike on a Pakistani border check post that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
DECEMBER  
Pakistan says decision to boycott Bonn conference is final Pakistan’s boycotts the Bonn conference in Germany, to protest against the Nato cross-border attack that killed 24 soldiers.
Veena Malik denies nude photo shoot for FHM Veena Malik stirs controversy in both Pakistan and India after a “nude” picture appears online. Veena says the photo has been morphed and later adds that it was a topless, and not a “nude” shoot.
Imran’s dream team wows Karachi Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf holds a mammoth rally in Karachi.
Kayani’s bold move: ‘Pakistani troops will return fire if Nato attacks again’ In a development that pushes US-Pakistan relations further into the realm of uncertainty, the army authorizes its local commanders deployed near the Afghan border to retaliate to any future incursions by Nato forces.
Facing the music: President Zardari returns under the cover of night President Asif Ali Zardari mysteriously leaves Pakistan for Dubai. It is later reported that the president is ill and will return soon, causing rumors of a military takeover to spread. Zardari later returns to Pakistan to resume his duties.

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Note: This round-up is not exhaustive of all important events in 2011. Additionally, it does not include opeds or blogs.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Raza
    Dec 29, 2011 - 7:01PM

    A year in which we should have learnt a lot of things….
    A bad year but not a year to be forgotten…..

    Recommend

  • ProudPakistani
    Dec 29, 2011 - 7:17PM

    I would always like to remember, 14 August 2011, a day when Pakistan showed great unity by making anthem record…
    30 October & 25 December…days that gave hope to numerous Pakistanis around the world..

    Recommend

  • Naveed
    Dec 29, 2011 - 7:41PM

    “Imran Khan’s ‘tsunami’ sweeps Lahore” is the political turning point of the year.

    Recommend

  • ALi
    Dec 29, 2011 - 7:47PM

    @ProudPakistani:
    Our newspapers are not to build confidence in ourselves but demoralize us.

    Recommend

  • Ali S
    Dec 29, 2011 - 8:09PM

    I’m glad that you tried to cover all points as much as possible (the world record for national anthem, for example) – not just dwell on the shocking political circus that goes on. Hopefully we learn and look forward to a better 2012.

    Recommend

  • PTIrevolution
    Dec 29, 2011 - 8:23PM

    Turning point of the year which gave hope to all was the 30th october mega jalsa in Lahore.

    Recommend

  • Salma
    Dec 29, 2011 - 8:41PM

    a very shallow overview…do u live in some other country or what?

    Recommend

  • Dec 29, 2011 - 8:54PM

    2011 was a “Mixed Feelings Year” for Pakistan and Pakistanis….
    Feelings of DISGUST and GRIEF (over Target-Killings of Hundreds in Karachi and Target Killings + Missing Persons’ Corpses in Balochistan)
    Feelings of RAGE and Self-LOATHING (over Raymond Davis saga, May 2 Raid, NATO Salala Attack)
    Feelings of FEAR and HELPLESSNESS (over the massive Floods especially in SINDH)
    ……………………..
    But their is one more thing…. Some thing that is set to fade away all the above-mentioned NEGATIVE feelings….. With a Positive One.
    The Feeling of HOPE & Imminent CHANGE (due to Oct 30th Lahore Jalsa and Dec 25 Karachi Jalsa of PTI)…..

    Recommend

  • Cautious
    Dec 29, 2011 - 11:22PM

    @Ali

    Our newspapers are not to build
    confidence in ourselves but demoralize
    us.

    Newspapers are suppose to report the news – they aren’t suppose to filter news based on whether it’s uplifting or demoralizing. If you have knowledge of uplifting news that isn’t being reported – write a letter to the editor or post a blog – ET will publish it.

    Recommend

  • Alert
    Dec 30, 2011 - 3:41AM

    2011:
    – Usama Bin Laden harbored by Pakistani miitary, killed by America.
    – Salman Tasir for fundamental right of a non-muslim woman, killed by his jihadi guard.

    Recommend

  • Umaira Sajjad
    Dec 30, 2011 - 10:55AM

    You should’ve added Malala Yousafzai’s incredible achievement in December! :/

    Recommend

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