Tensions between Pakistan`s ruling Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the opposition alliance, which has strongly criticized the army, have escalated. Established in September, the opposition Pakistan Democratic Movement Alliance (MDP) with 11 opposition parties, including the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) – organized massive anti-government demonstrations in several cities, including Gujranwala on 16 October, Karachi 18 October and Quetta 25 October, attended by tens of thousands; The PDM continued to call for the resignation of Prime Minister Khan and new elections and planned further demonstrations in December and a mass rally in the capital Islamabad in January. Alliance members – in particular former PML-N PM Sharif – continued to denounce the military`s influence in politics; Sharif 16 Oct accused army chief Javed Bajwa and secret service chief Faiz Hameed of undermining democratic institutions; The next day, Khan accused Sharif of “trying to sow discord in the army.” Police arrested Sharif`s son-in-law in Karachi on 19 October, allegedly under pressure from the army; Son-in-law later released on bail. Internationally, the government has continued to position itself as a key player in the peace process in Afghanistan; U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and the commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan on 8 October travelled to Pakistan without notice to seek bajwa and the government`s help in persuading the Taliban to agree to a ceasefire or reduce violence. The leader of the former Hizb-e Islami militia and Pakistani ally Gulbuddin Hekmatyar 19 octa met with Khan, President Alvi and FM Makhdoom Qureshi in Islamabad and announced two days later that he would seek talks with the Taliban. The Intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force kept Pakistan on the “grey list” at the end of October until February 2021. Meanwhile, militant attacks continued: in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on 10 October, the Pakistani Taliban killed two soldiers and wounded three others in the North Waziristan tribal district, and on 14 October, seven soldiers were killed. So-called bomb explosion at the Afghan spiritual 27 October killed eight students of the madrasa and wounded about 120 in the city of Peshawar. In Balochistan province, Balochist separatists launched an attack on an oil company convoy near the town of Omara in Gwadar district on 15 October, killing seven soldiers and seven security forces. Bomb explosion 25 octa killed three people in Quetta. Amid inter-communal tensions in Karachi, gunmen killed the prominent Sunni religious leader deobandi on 10 October. Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri returned to power as the new Prime Minister, while the government began negotiations with Israel on the controversial maritime border.
After Prime Minister-designate Adib resigned last month, former Prime Minister Saad Hariri – who resigned last year following massive protests – declared himself a “natural candidate” to form a unity government; Despite opposition from major Christian parties, Mr. Hariri was given the mandate to form a new government on 22 October, after receiving strong parliamentary support during consultations with President Michel Aoun, who promised to lead a non-aligned technocratic cabinet and implement France`s reform initiative.