The preceding year was not exactly annulled not exactly annuls mirabilis, but it did have its share of memorable moments. Rising inflation, rising gasoline prices, lack of gas, and a plummeting rupee have made this year more than a struggle for the ordinary bloke.
Every year brings new adventures, both pleasant and unpleasant. It is nothing new for individuals to label every previous year as terrific or awful. In truth, no day, month, or year exists in and of themselves. We are the ones that decide if it is beneficial or harmful. Now that 2021 is coming to an end and will be a thing of the past, let’s take a look back at what the world witnessed in it. 2021 will be remembered as the divisive year, both in terms of the yawning political divide that exacerbated the economic disconnect between the government and the opposition in the aftermath of visible public discontent with rising inflation, and more recently, gas shortages attributed to the failure to import RLNG on time for the second year in a row, thereby strengthening the Opposition’s narrative of sustained poor governance.
For the initial seven decades, successive governments have told the people of Pakistan that their predecessors ruined everything and set everything back. If the year 2021 could speak, it would blame the year 2020 for welcoming it in a shambles, introducing it with COVID-19, and a slew of other issues that had turned the globe upside down. The whole world was horrified in the first week of 2021, especially America, the world’s policeman, when a pro-Trump crowd stormed the Senate in an unprecedented attack that left many dead, denouncing his election defeat.
America, which is notorious for unwarranted interventions to deliver democracy to nations all over the world, had to accept responsibility for what occurred there on January 6, 2006. The following month, February, Myanmar, then known as Burma, did not do well. The military coup deposed an elected government and took control, sparking widespread outrage. Since then, hundreds of people have apparently lost their lives in what can only be described as a heinous incident, to put it mildly. All of this prompted the UN and other foreign powers to impose sanctions on the junta.
Another significant day was May 1, when the US was meant to leave Afghanistan under the February 29 accord struck in Doha between the US and the Afghan-Taliban, which did not materialize. Given that the coming weeks and months will be critical in global politics. America will leave Afghanistan in September, bringing an end to a 20-year conflict. Afghanistan was left in the dust, and in the middle of August, the Afghan-Taliban gained control of Kabul with little opposition. This is another significant event scheduled for 2021. Afghanistan’s situation has deteriorated. According to the UN Food Program, about half of Afghanistan’s population is suffering from acute food insecurity.
Not only that but there have been worrying allegations that some people are being forced to abandon their children in order to acquire anything to eat. There have been some good initiatives this year with these particular man-made challenges. Take, for example, COP 26. The UN Climate Change Conference COP26 was place in Glasgow in November. It drew 120 international leaders and almost 40,000 registered participants, including 22,274 party delegates, 14,124 observers, and 3,886 media representatives. The Glasgow Climate Pact was the product of COP26. Let’s skip ahead to December. The month of December may be of any type for the rest of the globe, but in Pakistan during the last several years, it has delivered some horrific occurrences that have drawn the attention of the whole world. For example, on December 3rd, irate textile factory employees in Sialkot tortured and burned their Sri Lankan general manager to death over blasphemy claims. This generated national and worldwide headlines, sparking condemnation from government leaders and human rights organizations both at home and abroad. Fortunately, unlike other national concerns, people of all political stripes despised the mob-lynching, demonstrating that everyone was on the same page. Without a question, the heinous murder of Priyantha Kumara Diyavadan has earned Islamabad a poor reputation in international capitals.
Pakistan had a spectacular 2021 as the cricket team triumphed against all odds. Pakistan not only thrived under the new leadership of Babar Azam, but the squad was also converted into a complete unit headed by the star himself. There was a lot to shout for in 2021, from Mohammad Rizwan’s ascension to Babar Azam’s excellence to Pakistan’s encouraging achievements in the T20 World Cup. As we say goodbye to 2021, let us look back at some of Pakistan cricket’s ‘winning’ moments. Pakistan entered the T20 World Cup as underdogs after both Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis left, and there were many misgivings about the roster, which saw alterations only days before the competition began. In their first match, the Men in Green played India, a side they had not beaten in their previous 12 World Cup appearances. Pakistan has broken the curse by defeating India in the World Cup for the first time.
In addition, Shaheen’s efforts in Test cricket this year were noteworthy, as he took 47 wickets at an average of 17.06 this year. The left-arm bowler remained Pakistan’s leading wicket-taker and second overall, trailing only India’s Ravi Ashwin, who took 52 wickets.
To its credit, Pakistan hosted the 17th Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers’ Emergency Meeting on December 19. The meeting’s agenda remained the deepening crisis in Afghanistan and the hazards that the Afghan people are suffering the brunt of. Islamabad has gained worldwide acclaim.
The year 2021 is drawing to a close, and the year 2022 is just around the corner. It is anticipated that the new year would be free of violent incidents. Again, a year is not inherently good or bad; rather, it is the actions of a man that cause it to be thus. Will the international community work with Afghanistan’s transitional government? Will the entire globe unite to combat climate change? What will become of COVID-19 and its newly discovered variant Omicron? Let us defer answering these questions until 2022.