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April 04, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. Assembly dissolved, crisis triggered; only beleaguered Imran Khan remains PM
• The country witnessed possibly the most eventful weekend in its history when the prime minister sprang his surprise on the opposition.
• The deputy speaker, reading from an already prepared text, first disallowed the no-trust vote by ruling it to be part of a `foreign conspiracy` and in violation of Article 5 of the Constitution.
• Then, as opposition benches came to terms with what had happened, the PM appeared on TV to reveal that he had advised the president to dissolve the assembly and called on citizens to prepare for early polls.
2. Chaos in Punjab after session to elect CM put off
• The political crisis in Punjab deepened on Sunday after the deputy speaker adjourned the provincial assembly session for April 6 following an altercation between treasury and opposition members.
• The Punjab Assembly`s extraordinary session was called to elect a new leader of the house, but the event was marred by an altercation between women MPAs from both sides of the aisle as women from the treasury benches tried to take away their party colleagues who had chosen to side with the opposition in the election for the chief minister back to their benches.
• Later, opposition members and their allied groups in the Punjab Assembly ended their sit-in on Sunday evening after the Supreme Court set a hearing on Monday (today) in a case against the dismissal of a no confidence motion against the prime minister.
• All these developments took place away from the eyes of the media, as journalists were barred from entering the Press Gallery that was locked on the day
3. Imran names US official who made `threat`
• Prime Minister Imran Khan on April 3, 2022 shared more details about the threat he said he had been facing since early last month.
• After the house was prorogued, a number of PTI leaders rushed to the PM Office and felicitated the prime minister on the `success of his surprise move`.
• In remarks that were televised, the PM told them that when the National Security Council (NSC) had condemned the involvement of an external force in no-trust resolution, counting [of votes on the motion] had become `irrelevant`.
• Mr Khan revealed that the US had sent a threatening message through Pakistan`s envoy. He was quoted as saying that US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu had reportedly in a meeting with Ambassador Asad Majeed warned there could be implications if he survived the opposition`s no confidence motion in the National Assembly.
4. UN, US and Nato shocked over civilian killings in Ukraine
• The United Nations, US and Nato leaders voiced shock and horror on April 3, 2022 at new evidence of atrocities against civilians in Ukraine, and warned that Russian troop movements away from Kyiv did not signal a withdrawal or end to the violence.
• Evidence of possible civilian killings around Kyiv has emerged as the Russian army has pulled back from the capital in the face of ferocious resistance from Ukrainian forces.
• AFP reporters saw at least 20 bodies, all in civilian clothing, strewn across a single street in the town of Bucha on Friday. One had his hands tied behind his back with a white cloth, and his Ukrainian passport left open beside his body.
• And a Ukrainian official said 57 bodies had been buried in a mass grave in the town outside the capital, showing AFP a slit trench were the bodies lay.
5. Taliban clamp down on drugs, announce ban on poppy harvest
• Afghanistan`s ruling Taliban on April 3, 2022 announced a ban on poppy production, even as farmers across the country began harvesting the bright red flower that produces the opium used to make heroin.
• The order warns farmers that their crops will be burned and they can be jailed if they proceed with the harvest. Taliban`s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid announced the ban at a news conference in the capital.
• The decree also outlawed the transportation, trade, export and import of all types of narcotics such as alcohol, heroin, tablet K, hashish … drug manufacturing factories in Afghanistan are strictly banned