Updated Tuesday Dec 27 2022
From its very outset, the year 2022 turned out to be as eventful as it could possibly get. It relentlessly started churning out those utterly consequential incidents that sent ripples across Pakistan’s political, social, and economic spectrum and remained media-worthy for a long time.
Geo.tv looks back at those events that kept people on the edges of their seats throughout the year.
The year kicked off with the spine-chilling news that at least 23 tourists, mostly families, tragically froze to death after being stuck in their cars for hours due to snowstorms and no serious rescue efforts in Murree Hills on January 7.
They were reported to have died because help couldn't reach them in time. It seemed as if nobody even knew they were trapped under many feet of thick snow. Media, eye-witnesses, and survivors blamed the administration's ulterior motives and the greed of the local business leaders for the tragedy.
The tragedy befell the hill station after record-heavy snowfall. Secondly, the unregulated and obviously enormous influx of snowfall enthusiasts' vehicles led to severe traffic jams, trapping travellers in idle cars. The victims mostly died either of cold or carbon monoxide poisoning, while waiting for the rescue that reached them when it was too late.
Another big news that made headlines across the world was the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Russian forces invaded the neighbouring country by land, air, and sea on February 24, which was dubbed as the biggest attack by one state against another in Europe since World War II.
The heart-wrenching murder of 27-year-old Noor Mukadam by Zahir Jaffer in Islamabad’s upscale neighbourhood on July 20, 2021, sent shockwaves across the country. The incident sparked nationwide outrage and calls for justice for Noor, resulting in a successful trial and eventual conviction of her murderer.
The trial of the high-profile case continued for four months and eight days after which the court finally reached a decision on February 24. It was a sigh of relief for millions of Pakistanis who had their eyes fixed on their TV screens to see Jaffer and his facilitators convicted and penalised.
In a historic first for Pakistan, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan was ousted as the prime minister through a no-confidence motion on April 10.
The day was extremely thrilling due to the uncertainty about the result of the political move against Khan, as the process saw multiple delays spanning over 12 hours.
However, it wasn’t just about the day of the no-confidence motion as the entire campaign to overthrow Khan kept the people glued to their TVs and gadgets.
Following the change of government in Centre, the Punjab assembly saw violence and ruckus, marring the session before Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hamza Shehbaz was elected as the chief minister on April 16. During the session, the PTI and PML-Q lawmakers threw "lotas" at then-deputy speaker Dost Mazari and attacked him.
The brawl in the Punjab assembly was seen live by people on their TV sets for hours.
The disappearance of teenage girl from Karachi’s Al Falah area on April 16 remained a hot affair for months. The girl mysteriously went missing from outside of her house, to later declare that she had left her home to marry 21-year-old Zaheer Ahmed in Lahore.
The case remained in headlines as the girl’s parents alleged that she had been kidnapped. It became a high-profile case as first the authorities failed to trace the girl for weeks and later due to her insistence on her being “happily married” —with her parents continuing to press allegations of abduction against the purported husband.
Following his ouster, Imran Khan led his party’s first long march of the year on May 25, calling for the dissolution of assemblies and a date for a fresh election. The day, the long march kicked off, saw a lot of political drama and violence across the country as many PTI workers were killed, several injured and hundreds arrested in the government’s bid to restrain the marchers from entering Islamabad.
Despite all restraining measures, the long march participants reached the capital and entered the Red Zone. They, however, were left behind by Khan, who called off the long march on May 26, giving the government a six-day ultimatum to dissolve the assemblies and announce an election.
It was June 9 when the news came as a shock that renowned TV host Aamir Liaquat Hussain was no more. The televangelist was found dead under mysterious circumstances at his residence in Khudadad Colony, just weeks after some indecent videos of him had gone viral.
Hussain — who at that time was in the middle of a divorce with his third wife Dania Shah — seemed highly disturbed in videos he uploaded on his social media to condemn the people for sharing his indecent videos and question why the cyber-crime wing did not take them off.
People were unable to digest the news of the sudden and mysterious death of the celebrity.
The gruesome murder of senior Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif in Kenya on October 23 — what the country’s authorities called a “case of mistaken identity” was another shocking news of 2022. Sharif was shot dead by the Kenyan police on the night of October 23.
Despite becoming a high-profile case with the involvement of both countries in the investigations, the mystery around it remains unsolved. The case also became controversial due to certain claims by PTI and his family. The case drew wide attention and continues to keep the people eager for new developments.
Pakistan saw almost a month-long political activity that kept the people glued to their TV screens as Khan announced a new long march in another bid to pressure the government for snap polls. The much-touted anti-government march on the capital kicked off on October 28.
Khan claimed that the march will continue until the date for elections is announced. However, following multiple changes in plans for reaching Islamabad, the PTI chairman once again took a U-turn, calling off the long march on November 27 and announcing that his party and allies would quit the assemblies.
Chaotic scenes broke out during PTI’s long march on November 3 after gunshots were fired at Imran Khan in Wazirabad where his convoy stopped over on its way to Islamabad. The attack left Khan injured in both his legs as he sustained bullet wounds.
The attempt on Khan’s life was a major event that made the people keep their TVs switched on.
The T20 World Cup 2022 was a nerve-wracking journey for Pakistani fans as they started the campaign with disappointing performances. At one point, the Men in Green were on the verge of being eliminated from the tournament in the group stage.
However, it was good luck for Pakistan that they managed to reach the semis and later the final, giving the fans hopes to reprise the 1992 World Cup due to striking similarities in the two events. The fans were sticking to their TV screens until the last moments when England thumped Pakistan to deny a fairytale finish in the T20 World Cup decider.
General Asim Munir taking over the military’s command after former army chief General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa hung boots on November 29 was one of the major news of the year.
The appointment of the new army chief involved months of anticipation as things were uncertain until Bajwa announced in October that he wouldn’t take a further extension.
Later, the deliberations to decide who would replace Bajwa remained a hot news topic.
Thumbnail and banner illustration. — Geo.tv/Ayesha Nabi