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- 1 February 01, 2020: National / International Current Affairs
- 1.1 1. Pakistan wants US to quickly clinch deal with Taliban
- 1.2 2. National emergency declared against locusts
- 1.3 3. Pakistan`s debt surges by 40pc in 15 months
- 1.4 4. PM launches programme giving stipend of Rs2,000 each to 7m women
- 1.5 5. Senate body passes two bills to meet FATF conditions
- 1.6 6. IHC disqualifies PML-N`s MPA over bogus degree
- 1.7 7. AJK legislative assembly approves amendments to accountability law
- 1.8 8. Iran`s missile strike hurt 64 US soldiers, says Pentagon
- 1.9 9. Britain sees `new dawn` in farewell to EU
- 1.10 10. Iqbal named head of revamped PCB cricket committee
February 01, 2020: National / International Current Affairs
1. Pakistan wants US to quickly clinch deal with Taliban
• Pakistan on Friday cautioned the United States that a historic opportunity to end conflict in Afghanistan could be lost if Washington did not act fast to clinch a deal with the Taliban.
• Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, while talking after a meeting with US special envoy for Afghan peace and reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, said that
spoilers could exploit the status quo if it prolongs.
• About his conversation, he said: `I emphasised that there is no military solution to the conflict and if a political solution has to be achieved then the progress made towards a political settlement [in talks between the US and Taliban over the past year] needs to be consolidated. It should not be lost
2. National emergency declared against locusts
• The government on January 31, 2020 declared national emergency to eliminate the attacking swarms of desert locust which are destroying crops on a large scale in Punjab after wiping out the same in Sindh.
• The decision was taken at a meeting convened by Prime Minister Imran Khan at the PM Office. The meeting attended by federal ministers and senior officials of the four provinces also approved a national action plan (NAP) that requires a sum of Rs7.3 billion to overcome the crisis.
• On the other hand, Minister for National Food Security Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar informed the National Assembly about the gravity of the situation and the steps so far taken by the federal and provincial governments to deal with the crisis
3. Pakistan`s debt surges by 40pc in 15 months
• With around 40 per cent increase in Pakistan`s public debt and liabilities in 15 months, the government on January 31, 2020 conceded major violations of the Fiscal Responsibility and Debt Limitation Act (FRDLA)for massively exceeding debt acquisition limits.
• In its debt policy statement laid before the parliament, the ministry of finance noted that total debt and liabilities that stood at Rs29.879 trillion at the end of the fiscal year 2018 crossedRs41.489tr at the end of September 2019, showing an increase of Rs11.6tr or 39pc.
• At the end of the fiscal year 2019, the total debt and liabilities were reported to have increased by about 35pc or Rs10.344tr to touch Rs40.223tr.
4. PM launches programme giving stipend of Rs2,000 each to 7m women
• Prime Minister Imran Khan on January 31, 2020 launched Ehsaas Kifalat Programme to give stipend of Rs2,000 each to seven million poverty-stricken women, through a foolproof and biometric-enabled cash disbursal mechanism across the country.
The foundation of Pakistan as a welfare state is being laid here. We have now started moving towards a welfare state. Soon, it will turn into the Pakistan of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Iqbal, the prime minister said while speaking at the launching ceremony of the scheme.
• The ceremony marked the distribution of the Kifalat cards among the poorest women who sat beside the prime minister at the venue
• Under the programme, each beneficiary woman would get a bank account and smartphone as part of the initiative to empower women through their formal interaction with the economy and digital inclusion.
5. Senate body passes two bills to meet FATF conditions
• The Senate Standing Committee on Finance on January 31, 2020 approved two bills that are required to be passed by parliament to meet the requirements of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) so that Pakistan can be removed from its
grey list The Anti-Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill 2019 and the Foreign Exchange Regulation (Amendment) Bill 2019 have already been cleared by the National Assembly on Jan 1.
• Chairing a meeting of the committee, Senator Farooq H. Naek said no amendment was proposed to the Foreign Exchange Regulation (Amendment) Bill; therefore, it was considered passed by the committee.
• Later, the committee reviewed the Anti-Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill and some amendments were made to its sections 4, 21(3), 33 and 34(2)
• Another bill related to Mutual Legal Assistance and Information Sharing is pending with the Senate Standing Committee on Interior.
• This bill also required to be passed by parliament to meet the FATF conditions.
• Meanwhile, five bills were introduced in the National Assembly to further amend some acts and ordinances related to FATF.
6. IHC disqualifies PML-N`s MPA over bogus degree
• The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on January 31, 2020 disqualified a member of the Punjab Assembly from Bahawalnagar, Kashif Mahmood, for holding a bogus degree of the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA). Mr Mahmood belongs to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
• Justice Aamer Farooq of the IHC announced the verdict that was reserved on Nov 5.
• The petition was filed by Abdul Ghaffar, a resident of Bahawalnagar district. The petition cited the provincial assembly
s secretary, Punjab Assemblys speaker, MPA Mahmood and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) as respondents
7. AJK legislative assembly approves amendments to accountability law
• The Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Legislative Assembly approved amendments to the region`s accountability law with majority vote on January 31, 2020.
• Deputy Speaker Assembly Sardar Amer Altaf presided over the session.
• Expressing his views on the AJK Ehtesab Bureau (6thAmendment) Act, 2020, Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider maintained that the amendments had been effected to make it a balanced piece of law, restricting everyone to bounds of the stipulated jurisdiction
8. Iran`s missile strike hurt 64 US soldiers, says Pentagon
• The number of US troops injured by an Iranian missile strike in Iraq this month has risen to 64, according to new figures released by the Pentagon.
• US President Donald Trump had initially said no Americans were hurt by the missiles fired on a base housing US soldiers in the country`s west on Jan 8.
• Democrats later accused Trump of trying to downplay the injuries.
• The Pentagon said on Wednesday that 50 soldiers were injured in the Iranian strike on the Ain al-Asad base.
9. Britain sees `new dawn` in farewell to EU
• Britain on January 31, 2020 night ended almost half a century of integration with Europe, finally making its historic departure from the EU to begin a new but still uncertain future, with emotions running high following years of wrangling and several false starts.
• As the clocks struck 11pm midnight in Brussels Britain became the first country to leave the 28-member bloc and would go it alone for the first time since 1973.
• Prime Minister Boris Johnson has backed BREXIT since the 2016 referendum vote to leave, which triggered deep bitterness and division.
• But he has promised to unite the country in a new era of prosperity
10. Iqbal named head of revamped PCB cricket committee
• The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on January 31, 2020 named former Test spinner Iqbal Qasim as head of its revamped cricket committee.
• The committee was first formed in 2018 with former Test opener Mohsin Khan as its head. But Mohsin resigned from the post in 2019 as Wasim Khan was named as head of the cricket committee. Now the 66-year-old Iqbal will lead it.
• The committee contains new names of former Test cricketers Umar Gul and Ali Naqvi while former Test captain Wasim Akram and Urooj Mumtaz were retained.
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