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- 1 February 04, 2020: National / International Current Affairs
- 1.1 1. Pakistan-IMF talks for $450m facility start
- 1.2 2. Reshuffle in Sindh cabinet
- 1.3 3. Afghan govt suspends trade through Torkham border
- 1.4 4. Muslim nations reject Trump’s ME ‘peace plan’
- 1.5 5. China intent on winning war against virus, says ambassador
- 1.6 6. WHO plans meeting next month to review health strategy
- 1.7 7. OIC asks member states not to help execute ME plan
- 1.8 8. Iran plane downing: Tehran ends co-operation with Ukraine
- 1.9 9. Space freighter departs Int’l Space Station
- 1.10 10. Babar Azam retains top spot in ICC T20 Rankings
February 04, 2020: National / International Current Affairs
1. Pakistan-IMF talks for $450m facility start
• Talks between Pakistan and International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the second review under the $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) have started on February 3, 2020 to review the economic situation of the country.
• Talks are expected to last for around two weeks. After completing its second review, the IMF would take a decision to release $450 million to Pakistani government.
• Pakistan has so far received $1.44 billion from IMF in two tranches. The IMF in July 2019 had approved a 39-month extended arrangement under EFF for Pakistan for an amount of about $6 billion.
• The ongoing talks would review the economic situation of the country in second quarter (October to December) of the current fiscal year
2. Reshuffle in Sindh cabinet
• The Sindh chief minister on February 3, 2020 shuffled portfolios among four of his ministers in the provincial cabinet.
• According to a notification issued by the CM House, Minister Saeed Ghani has been relieved of the information portfolio, which has been given to Syed Nasir Shah along with local government, housing, town planning, forest and religious affairs.
• Mr Ghani, who was already taking care of labour and human resources, has also been given the portfolio of education and literacy department, which earlier was with the CM.
• Sohail Anwar Siyal has been relieved of the charge of enquiries and Anti Corruption Establishment, which has been given to Jam Ikramullah Dharejo in addition to his existing industries, commerce and cooperation portfolios
3. Afghan govt suspends trade through Torkham border
• The Afghan government February 3, 2020 restricted the Kabul-bound trucks, loaded with export commodities, at Torkham border coming from the Pakistani side without holding road passes thus suspending trade at the border.
• Pakistani border officials while confirming the development said that on Monday the Afghan border officials banned the transit and other exports loaded trailers, lacking road permit to cross the border to Afghanistan. He added due to this decision by the Afghan government, hundreds of loaded trucks are parked in Torkham.
4. Muslim nations reject Trump’s ME ‘peace plan’
• Days after Gulf Arab states expressed their support for President Donald Trump’s efforts at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, representatives from these same countries and other Muslim nations gathered in Saudi Arabia and rejected the White House’s plan as “biased.”
• Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said the kingdom backs efforts that push for negotiations, but said such initiatives must reach a fair resolution that ensures the rights of the Palestinian people “through the creation of an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
• He spoke at a gathering in the Saudi city of Jeddah for the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which denounced Trump’s plan. The formal rebuke by the OIC comes just days after Arab League nations unanimously rejected the White House’s proposals at a meeting in Cairo, where Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas threatened to cut security ties with Israel and referred to White House adviser Jared Kushner, the chief architect of the plan, as simply Trump’s son-in-law.
5. China intent on winning war against virus, says ambassador
• Pakistanis stranded in China started arriving after resumption of flight operations in the virushit country as three planes carrying 235 passengers, including 11 Chinese, landed at Islamabad International Airport on February 3, 2020.
• As 17,000 people have been infected with novel coronavirus (NCV) in over two dozen countries and more than 350 have died, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing declared it war against humanity. `We have to win this war and we have determination and confidence to overcome this plague. Moreover, there are just 538 Pakistanis in [NCV-hit] Wuhan city, which has a population of around 11 million, and we are treating them as they are our own people,` he said at a press conference with Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza.
• Mr Yao said since more people were being cured as compared to deaths, things would improve in the coming days
6. WHO plans meeting next month to review health strategy
• The World Health Organisation announced on February 3, 2020 that next month it will bring together ministers of health, finance and foreign affairs of its member states in Marrakech to discuss global preparedness for pandemics.
• This health diplomacy meeting will focus on `what can be done to improve global` response to outbreaks of deadly diseases, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyes us said in a tweet.
• He also `stressed the importance of the international community working together` to roll back the outbreak of the acute Coronavirus respiratory disease that has already spread to 29 countries
7. OIC asks member states not to help execute ME plan
• The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on February 3, 2020 rejected US President Donald Trump`s peace plan for the Middle East, calling on its 57 member states not to help implement it.
• The pan-Islamic body, which represents more than 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide, `rejects this US-Israeli plan as it does not meet the minimum aspirations and legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and contradicts the terms of reference of the peace process`, it said in a statement.
• A meeting of foreign ministers at OIC headquarters in the Saudi city of Jeddah called on `all member states not (to) deal with this plan or cooperate with the US administration ef forts to enforce it in any way or form`
8. Iran plane downing: Tehran ends co-operation with Ukraine
• Iran has ceased co-operation with Ukraine in its investigation into the downing of Ukrainian passenger jet PS752 by Iranian missiles last month. It comes after leaked remarks suggested Iran knew immediately that it had struck the plane.
• Ukrainian TV aired an exchange between air traffic control and a pilot who was landing as the jet crashed.
• The Iranian pilot allegedly states he saw a flash like missile fire in the sky, and then an explosion. Iran initially denied responsibility for the downing on 8 January that killed 176, but Ukraine’s president said the conversation proved the country knew the flight had been hit by a missile
9. Space freighter departs Int’l Space Station
• A Northrop Grumman cargo ship departed on February 3, 2020 the International Space Station (ISS) after docking with the space lab for more than two months.
• The Cygnus cargo spacecraft was un berthed from the station at 9:36 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (1436 GMT), heading for a destructive reentry. Cygnus is a non-reusable spacecraft. It will burn up during reentry into the Earth.
• Ground controllers remotely unbolted the unpiloted cargo spacecraft from the Earth-facing port of the Unity module and maneuvered it into release position. Then, they sent commands to the Canadarm2 robotic arm to release the craft, according to NASA
10. Babar Azam retains top spot in ICC T20 Rankings
• Pakistan ace batsman Babar Azam has retained the top position as well as his aggregate of 879 points in the ICC Men’s Twenty20 Player Rankings.
• According to ICC on February 3, 2020, for Pakistan, experienced players Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez have also advanced to 45th and 71th positions, respectively, after slamming a half-century each in the three-match series against Bangladesh.
• Babar, the third Pakistan batsman to score a half-century in the series, has retained the top position.
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