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December 20, 2022: National Current Affairs MCQs
1. Bannu stalemate continues
• The standoff between the security forces and banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants continued on December 19, 2022 as the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) centre in Bannu remained under the militants` control.
• Late Sunday, the militants incarcerated in the CTD centre took control of the building after they snatched weapons from their investigators and took a number of law enforcers hostages. They had also fired upon the security personnel, reportedly injuring a CTD man and a soldier. The militants had demanded a safe passage to Afghanistan.
• Despite the passage of 24 hours, there has been no breakthrough in talks with the militants for the release of the hostages. An official source said that the standoff continued and there was `no breakthrough in negotiations` with the militants who had taken over the compound. `The top priority is to free the hostages from the captivity of militants, the source added
2. Three martyred in Miranshah suicide attack
• At least one soldier and two civilians lost their lives as a result of a suicide attack on the convoy of security forces in North Waziristan on December 19, 2022, said the media wing of the Pakistan Army.
• `A suicide blast occurred in the general area of Miramshah, North Waziristan District. Resultantly, Naik Abid, 33, a resident of district Mansehra, and two civilians embraced martyrdom while one civilian was injured in the incident,` the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in an official statement.
• Police said the bomber rammed a rickshaw into the vehicle of the security forces, killing one soldier and civilians. Following the attack, the area was immediately cordoned off by the security personnel, the senior official of the police added
3. Pakistan enrols one million non-Muslim voters in four years
• The number of voters belonging to religious minorities in the country has climbed to 4.43 million from 3.63 million in 2018. The number of voters from religious minorities was 2.77m in electoral rolls for the 2013 general election.
• The latest figures of minority voters were disclosed by National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) Chairman Tariq Malik during a consultative session with an interfaith delegation, led by Senator Kamran Michael, which called on him here on Monday.
• The NADRA chairman informed the delegation that the authority had so far registered 4.43m people belonging to minority communities including Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and people belonging to other religions
4. US offers help with TTP threat, India rivalry
• Indicating it is closely following reports that militants have seized control of a counterterrorism centre in Bannu, the United States on December 19, 2022 offered unconditional support to Pakistan in its battle against the TTP and similar groups, saying that defeating terrorism was a shared goal of both countries.
• At the same time, it also offered to assist India and Pakistan in resolving their differences, reminding them that they were key global partners and that America would like to continue `valuable partnerships` with both.
• US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price made these remarks at a news briefing, hours after Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari reached Washington for talks with US officials
5. Over 190 nations approve historic Chinese-brokered nature accord
• More than 190 countries approve d a historic deal to reverse decades of environmental destruction threatening the world`s species and ecosystems at a marathon UN biodiversity summit early December 19, 2022.
• The chair of the COP15 nature summit, Chinese Environment Minister Huang Rungiu, declared the deal adopted at a plenary session in Montreal that ran into the wee hours and banged his gavel, sparking loud applause from assembled delegates.
• After four years of fraught negotiations, states rallied behind the Chinese brokered accord aimed at saving Earth`s lands, oceans and species from pollution, degradation and the climate crisis. `We have in our hand s a package that I think can guide us all to work together to hold and reverse biodiversity loss, to put biodiversity on the path of recovery for the benefit of all people in the world,` Huang told the assembly