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April 23, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. NSC reiterates PTI govt not ousted through foreign plot
• The National Security Committee (NSC) on April 22, 2022 dismissed the allegation that the PTI government was ousted through a foreign conspiracy.
• `The NSC, after reviewing the contents of the communication, the assessments received, and the conclusions presented by the security agencies, concludes that there has been no foreign conspiracy,` the PM Office said in a statement.
• Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chaired the meeting that was held to discuss ex-PM Imran Khan`s allegation that the United States conspired with local politicians to remove him from office.
• The accusation was based on a diplomatic cable received from Washington on March 7 in which it was stated that Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Donald Lu had told Pakistan`s ambassador that there could be implications for bilateral ties if Mr Khan survived the vote of no confidence
2. President `reluctantly` swears in four cabinet members
• President Dr Arif Alvi on April 22, 2022 `almost half-heartedly` administered the oath to three federal ministers and a state minister, as Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expanded his cabinet, increasing the number of its members to 40.
• On the other hand, the European Commission felicitated Prime Minister Sharif for assuming charge of his office and emphasised the need for strengthening relations between the two sides.
• It was surprising for many that President Alvi agreed to administer the oath to the four new members of the federal cabinet, as earlier he had refused to perform this duty twice in the recent past at the time of Prime Minister Sharif`s oath-taking and then for the 33-member cabinet on Tuesday
3. PIA acquires A320 flight simulator
• Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has acquired a state-of the-art Airbus A320 simulator for pilot training, refresher courses and air safety.
• The simulator would lead to safer training and cost savings for the local airlines, as they have to spend a significant amount of money on training their pilots overseas.
• The state-of-the-art digital 7E Evolution Airbus A320 Full Flight Simulator, acquired from L3Harris Technologies, will be installed at the PIA Training Centre in Karachi.
• Currently, the national flag carrier operates 11 Airbus A320 aircraft. The simulator will not only benefit PIA`s own pilots who fly Airbus A320 but also other Pakistani airlines like Airblue and Air Sial that use the aircraft. Pakistan has 670 Airbus A320 pilots
4. Pakistan reports first polio case after 15 months
• Pakistan`s celebratory mood on achieving the milestone of remaining polio free for over a year turned to disappointment after a new case of the crippling disease surfaced in North Waziristan on April 22, 2022.
• The country had completed one year without detection of a polio case on January 27, with the only patient found in Balochistan`s Qila Abdullah district in 2021. All other federating and administrative units remained polio free last year.
• Following the detection of the wild poliovirus case, the national and provincial polio emergency operation centres mobilised their teams to conduct a full investigation while emergency immunisation campaigns were already under way to prevent further spread of the virus.
• It was the third wild polio case to have been recorded globally in 2022. The first two cases were reported from Afghanistan and Malawi
5. Trade with Afghanistan via Torkham doubles in recent months
• Trade activities have picked up momentum at the Torkham crossing here in the recent months amid a decline in pedestrian movement across the border point due to strict enforcement of the Individual Voluntary Arrangement System.
• Sources at Torkham border told Dawn that Pak Afghan trade had doubled during the last three months and it was likely go up further in the months ahead to the relief of the business community, which had suffered losses since the Taliban`s takeover of Afghanistan last August.
• They said the number of vehicles taking Pakistani goods to Afghanistan via Torkham had plummeted to just 80 vehicles soon after Kabul fell to the Taliban