The political chaos that was 2017!

Another year has gone by with the blink of an eye, leaving so many notable events that may remain engraved in our memory like a rolled embroided handkerchief placed in our front pocket, from the inauguration of Donald Trump as the President of US who changed the stereotype, chided down the bench marked United States of America to “America first” only, to the defeat of Islamic State.

Since the beginning of this year we were like ‘Bring it on 2017, I am ready!’. Thus, we have been on a roller-coster ride throughout whether concerning about national politics or international ones, every day coming up with a new story more outrageous than yesterday.

The travel ban of some Muslim majority countries to the United States took the leap and set many forthcoming events, portraying Muslims as the aggressive ones. Trump, who defied norms and created his own boundaries other than ‘The Wall’, made the US step out of several international agreements like Paris Climate Change, immigration and UNESCO.

The last shockwave of 2017 which Trump could give was the declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which first got rejected by the OIC and then by the United Nations. Challenging the ‘please-me state’ of the US, the reclusive North Korea emerged as a nuclear state that created some ripples in the auto-calm ocean of the US. Washington later threatened to ‘utterly destroy’ the regime ‘if war comes’.

The desert kingdom, Saudi Arabia, came up with the headlines in June when it announced the ascension of Prince Mohammed bin Salman second in line to the throne, who later on changed the history by letting Saudi women drive from 2018. Another major step taken under influence of the young prince was the anti-corruption purge, which cleansed not only the princes or ministers but also the business tycoons of the kingdom.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and its arab allies sever its ties with Qatar, isolating it from the Arab world for supporting ‘terrorists’ and for being close to Iran, insisting that Qatar had violated a 2014 agreement with members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Qatar acknowledged that it had provided assistance to some, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, but denied aiding militant groups linked to al-Qaeda or so-called Islamic State (ISIS). The closure of airspace by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt acted as a nudger for the Qatari state, paralysing it economically.

The humanitarian situation had been at its worst throughout this year from the civil war in Syria, genocide in Myanmar and health crisis in Yemen, resulting in so many people losing their lives, homes and families. The United Nations this year called the situation of Yemen as the worst in the world.

Numerous deadly attacks around the world over the year, including in Afghanistan, Britain, Egypt, Pakistan and Somalia, claimed by the IS has the world wondering about Iraq’s defeating the militant group that it has not been wiped out completely and still operating, a warn that there is still a threat to peace.

Likewise the Saudi anti-corruption probe, Pakistan was also taken aback with the most notable event of 2017 when then-prime minster Nawaz Sharif was disqualified by the Supreme Court in July, one of the most important event in Pakistan, capturing the media’s attention both nationally and internationally for many days. Later, the Nawaz party came up with much power now making it harder for the establishment to ‘rest in peace’.

Another hazard that Trump’s administration, in its policy on South Asia, could come up with was labelling Pakistan as a ‘safe havens’ for terrorists which further fractured the strained US-Pakistan relationship, adding more pressure for the country. Igniting the whole situation, US asked India to take on a bigger role in Afghanistan which would use this opportunity to stir trouble in the bordering areas of Pakistan.

As we venture into 2018 and leave behind 2017, arguably the most chaotic year when it comes to politics, let us hope that we get more of deliverance and less of tweets.

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