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December 21, 2022: National Current Affairs MCQs
1. 25 militants killed as forces secure CTD compound
• At least three security officials, including a subedar major who was taken hostage by militants holed up inside the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) building in Bannu, were martyred as security forces secured the facility seized by Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) men over the weekend.
• Inter Services Public Relations Director General Maj-Gen Ahmed Sharif said that 33 terrorists were under investigation in the CTD compound on Dec 18. `One of them snatched a weapon from a CTD officer and got his allies freed. They took hold of the weapons from the armoury and started firing, martyring a CTD officer while one was injured who later passed away.
• He said one officer of the security forces present inside the complex was taken hostage and other security personnel reached the site and surrounded the complex as soon as they heard the sound of firing
2. Officials agree on talks with Kabul over border issues
• With the efforts of a 16-member jirga that visited Kandahar to meet the Taliban officials amid tense situation at Chaman border, a flag meeting held between Pakistan and Afghan authorities at Friendship Gate on December 20, 2022 agreed to resolve all border issues through talks.
• At the flag meeting, which was postponed earlier on Saturday reportedly due to grouping among the Afghan officials on use of authority and taking decisions, it was also decided that civil and military officials of both sides would visit the other country for negotiations on all issues in future.
• Both sides agreed that fighting was not a solution to any problem and negotiation was the right way to resolve all issues between the neighbouring countries
3. Unveiling energy plan, govt seeks to break nation`s habits
• As the circular debt in the energy sector goes up, the government is back to square one: it wants to inculcate the principle of `early to bed, early to rise` into a nocturnal nation, save daylight hours and expect billions in savings.
• The national energy conservation plan, approved by the federal cabinet in its meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on December 20, 2022, envisages drastic measures like the closure of markets and restaurants by 8pm, the work-from-home facility to 20 per cent of government employees, the introduction of electric motorbikes, efficient light bulbs and fans, the solarisation of government buildings, water conversation, rain harvesting, use of `conical baffle` devices in gas geysers, etc. The cabinet decided that the emergency plan would be discussed with the provinces for two days on Tuesday and Wednesday and would be finalised on Thursday for implementation, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif told a presser after the meeting.
• `The plan will change the overall lifestyle and habit pattern of the nation that will enrich family life. It will also bring back our tradition and family values, he said of the plan, similar to ones many governments have announced but failed to implement in the past
4. Joint session of parliament approves 10 bills
• The joint session of the parliament on December 20, 2022 passed 10 bills amid boycott of the session by PTI lawmakers.
• The Global Change Impact Studies Centre (Amendment) Bill, 2022, moved by Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman, was the first of the 10 bills passed by the parliament.
• Other bills approved by the parliament were: the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2022; the Pakistan Nursing Council (Amendment) Bill, 2022; the State-Owned Enterprises (Governance and Operations) Bill, 2022; the Pakistan Global Institute Bill, 2022; the Regulation of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power (Amendment) Bill, 2022; the Islamabad Capital Territory Prohibition of Interest on Private Loans Bill, 2022; the Islamabad Compulsory Vaccination and Protection of Health Workers Bill, 2022; the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Bill, 2022; and the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council Bill, 2022.
5. WB okays $1.7bn for flood-hit Sindh
• The World Bank`s Board of Executive Directors has approved $1.692 billion in financing to Pakistan for five projects to support people living in flood-affected areas of Sindh.
• According to an announcement by the Washington based lending agency, three projects support rehabilitation and housing reconstruction and the restoration of crop production for vulnerable communities, while another two projects support health services for mothers and children.
• `Sindh was the province worst affected by the 2022 floods. There was huge damage to the housing, health, and agriculture sectors and people lost their livelihoods