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August 21, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. Half a million to pick MNA for Karachi seat today
• After generating a degree of hype not seen in previous by-elections and amid heightened efforts by political parties to muster support, over half a million registered voters in NA-245 are expected to exercise their democratic and constitutional right of franchise today (August 20, 2022) in the by-election.
• The by-election on the seat, which fell vacant after the death of Dr Aamir Liaquat Hussain in June, was originally scheduled to be held on July 27, but the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had to postpone it amid torrential rains.
• Aamir Liaquat was elected on the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) ticket in 2018 general elections, defeating Dr Sattar of the MQM-P by securing 56,673 votes against his 35,429 votes
2. Bill passed to set up GB revenue authority
• Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly on August 20, 2022 passed a legislation to set up a revenue authority, a move which has been hailed as ‘revolutionary’ and ‘first step towards economic self-reliance’.
• The bill titled “Gilgit-Baltistan Revenue Authority Bill 2022” was easily passed with a majority, with four opposition members also voting in favour of the bill.
• The bill was tabled in the assembly by GB Finance Minister Javed Ali Manwa in a session chaired by Deputy Speaker Nazir Ahmed Advocate
3. Rs2.5bn grant for Balochistan`s public varsities
• Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Qudus Bizenjo has approved the release of a Rs2.5 billion grant-in-aid for the 10 public sector universities in the province faced with financial issues.
• Mr Bizenjo took the decision in a meeting held to review the financial and administrative issues of universities in the province.
• `The students studying in the universities of the province are our own children who need to be invested so that they are not left behind in education, skills, science and technology,` he said Balochistan`s chief secretary, higher education secretary, vice chancellors, and other officials attended the meeting
4. `Digital diplomacy` launched to boost trade with African countries
• An Islamabad-based think tank has launched a `digital diplomacy` initiative in coordination with the foreign office and business community to boost trade and cultural ties with African countries as well as for image building of Pakistan there.
• The initiative was launched by Centre of Pakistan and International Relations (COPAIR) by DG Foreign Office Africa Naeem Khan.
• Mr Khan spoke about the relations of Pakistan with various African nations and also gave the historical view of Pakistan Morocco relations.
• He highlighted the potentials for further strengthening the political and economic relations between the two countries and gave a brief review about the recent high level talks between Pakistan and Morocco
5. 13 killed as Somali forces battle Al Shabaab at besieged hotel
• At least 13 civilians have been killed and dozens wounded in an Islamist militant attack on a hotel in the Somali capital, officials said on August 20, 2022, as security forces battled gunmen barricaded inside many hours after the siege began.
• Fighters from the Al Qaeda affiliate Al Shabaab stormed the Hayat Hotel in Mogadishu on Friday evening in a hail of gunfire and bomb blasts.
• Scores of people were trapped inside but officials said many including children have since been rescued. Sporadic gunfire and loud explosions could be heard into Saturday afternoon, but details remain difficult to verify in the chaos