A CONFRONTATION WAITING TO HAPPEN
Nov 24: The Russian Sukhoi Su-24, an all-weather attack aircraft, was shot down by Turkish F-16s in the Turkey-Syria border area in one of the most serious publicly acknowledged clashes between a NATO member country and Russia for half a century. Russia’s defence ministry announced suspension of military cooperation with Turkey and cancelled foreign minister’s planned trip to the country.
Nov 24: A Pakistani Air Force female pilot, Flying Officer Marium Mukhtiar, died when her trainer jet FT-7PG, flown by Squadron Leader Saqib Abbasi along with her, crashed near Kundian, Mianwali. 24-year-old Ms Mukhtiar who hailed from Karachi could not succumb to injuries thus becoming the first female pilot to have died on a mission.
THE MINIONS’ RISE
Oct 25: Afghanistan made history when they became the first Associate nation to defeat a Test-playing country in a One-day International series with a comprehensive win over Zimbabwe. The victory gave Afghanistan a 3-2 series win after the two sides had shared the first four games at the Queen’s Sports Club.
OMENS OF SAUDI-PAK THAW
Oct 30: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia concluded their first joint counter-terrorism exercises code-named As-Shahab-1. Special services forces of the two countries participated in the 12-day exercises at the National Counter Terrorism Centre, Pabbi, near Jhelum.
THE TURK SULTAN AT BAY
Nov 01: Turkey’s long-dominant Justice and Development Party (AKP) scored a stunning electoral comeback, regaining its parliamentary majority in a poll seen as crucial for the future of the country. The party founded by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won over 49 percent of the vote to secure 315 seats in the 550-member parliament, easily enough to form a government on its own.
BIHAR MOMENT IN MODI’S WATERLOO
Nov 08: India’s impoverished state Bihar gave a resounding verdict against the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) campaign to pit Hindus against Muslims over beef eating. The hefty score of 178 seats in Bihar’s 243-member assembly for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s grand alliance demolished virtually all poll predictions.
PARIS BLEEDS AGAIN
Nov 14: In the deadliest violence to strike France since WWII, a wave of coordinated attacks left more than 128 dead in scenes of carnage in Paris. The self-styled Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks which struck at least six very different venues, ranging from the national sports stadium to a pizzeria. The French President, François Hollande, described the assault as “an act of war” against France and promised a “merciless” response.
THE PPP STALWART GOES
Nov 21: Veteran politician and senior Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Makhdoom Amin Fahim died at the age of 76. He was diagnosed with blood cancer and had been in critical condition for some time. Fahim was the senior vice-chairman of the PPP and a member of the National Assembly from Hala (NA-218). He was the spiritual head of the Sarwari Jamaat.
THE BEAR COMES TO PAKISTAN
Nov 20: Pakistan and Russia agreed on establishing five working groups as both the countries had already signed agreements on Oct 16 to complete the North-South Pipeline with an estimated cost of $2.5 billion till December 2017, provision of around three-dozen helicopters to curb drug trafficking, kick-starting negotiations on the FTA and launching a joint naval exercise by coming December in order to boost bilateral relations.
GLOBAL CHALLENGE, GLOBAL RESPONSE
Nov 21: The UN Security Council unanimously approved a French-sponsored resolution calling on all nations to redouble and coordinate action to prevent further attacks by IS terrorists. The resolution urges UN member states “to intensify their efforts to stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters in Iraq and Syria and to prevent and suppress the financing terrorism.”