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December 03, 2022: National Current Affairs MCQs
1. Pakistan embassy attacked in Kabul
• Pakistan`s embassy in Kabul came under attack on December 2, 2022, leaving one security guard critically injured, the Foreign Office said.
• According to a statement released by the FO, the target was Head of Mission Ubaidur Rehman Nizamani, who remained unhurt in the attack.
• The FO `strongly condemned` the attack, but added the embassy would continue to function normally and there were no plans to withdraw diplomats from Kabul.
• The Afghan chargé d`affaires was also summoned to the foreign ministry to formally protest over the attack. According to an official, Mr Nizamani was walking in Pakistan mission`s lawn in Kabul`s Kart-i-Parwan neighbourhood when terrorists fired at him
2. Asad Majeed of `cipher` fame made foreign secretary
• Dr Asad Majeed Khan, a career Foreign Service officer, was on December 2, 2022 appointed as the country`s 31st foreign secretary.
• `Dr Asad Majeed Khan is transferred and posted as Secretary, Foreign Affairs Division, with immediate effect and until further orders,` an Establishment Division notification read.
• He is currently the ambassador to Belgium, the European Union and Luxembourg and served as the ambassador to Japan and US.
• He remained in spotlight earlier this year for authoring a cipher (diplomatic cable), as the then ambassador in Washington, on his conversation with US Assistant Secretary of State Donald Lu. The cipher was used by Imran Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf to push a narrative that US had conspired with local collaborators to oust the PTI government
3. Parliament never allowed military to hold talks with TTP: senators
• A day after Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah claimed the parliament had authorised military leadership to hold talks with outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), lawmakers from within the ruling coalition made it clear that this was not the case.
• They said the parliamentary committee on national security was simply informed by the military about talks that were already under way.
• `No permission was sought by the military from parliament for holding parleys with the TTP,` former Senate chairman and PPP leader Mian Raza Rabbani told Dawn.
• He said the parliamentary committee on national security had been informed by the military that negotiations were taking place with the banned outfit
4. Centcom chief, COAS agree to strengthen security cooperation
• Gen Michael Erik Kurilla, the commander of the US Central Command (Centcom), conducted a video teleconference on December 2, 2022 with Pakistan`s new army chief Gen Syed Asim Munir, and the two military leaders talked about strengthening security cooperation between Pakistan and the United States.
• A brief statement, issued by the Centcom headquarters in Tampa, Florida, said Gen Kurilla spoke with Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Munir, who replaced Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on Nov 29, via video teleconference.
• The statement pointed out that the two generals `have a previously established relationship from Gen Kurilla`s time as Centcom Chief of Staff
5. Pakistan gets much-needed relief from Saudi Arabia
• Saudi Arabia has provided a much-needed breathing space to Pakistan by announcing the rollover of $3 billion it had deposited in the State Bank.
• `The Saudi Fund for Development (SPD) extended the term for the deposit provided by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the amount of three billion dollars to the State Bank of Pakistan,` said a press release issued by the SBP on December 2, 2022.
• The SPD has extended the term of deposit for one year. Bankers believe the government was willing to get an extension of up to three years, but the current political instability in the country may be a hindrance in the way of a long-term extension