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February 05, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. Accord signed with China for industrial cooperation
• Pakistan`s Board of Investment (BoI) and China`s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) on February 4, 2022 signed the much-needed `Framework Agreement on Industrial Cooperation` that will inter alia facilitate relocation of industries as well as investment from China and other parts of the world to Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Pakistan.
• The milestone was achieved a day after the arrival of Prime Minister Imran Khan in Beijing on a four-day tour. He held a series of meetings on Friday with executives of China`s leading state-owned and private companies, interacted with NDRC chairman He Lifeng to deliberate on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects, and also joined world leaders at the National Stadium as the spectacular Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 kicked off
2. Three terrorists killed in Kech during operation against Panjgur attackers
• Three terrorists, including two high value targets, were killed on February 4, 2022 in an operation carried out by security forces in Kech district of Balochistan to hunt down those involved in late Wednesday night attacks on their two camps in Nushki and Panjgur.
• Levies personnel along with security forces also launched a search operation in the Roghani area after a grenade attack on a check-post in the border town of Chaman left two Levies Force personnel and four civilians injured.
• The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in a statement issued late Friday evening explained that security forces conducted a follow-up operation in the Balgatar area of Kech and surrounded a makeshift hideout of the terrorists linked with the recent terrorist activities in Panjgur
3. Senate body approves bill to clip ICT officials` judicial powers
• A parliamentary committee on February 4, 2022 approved four bills, including one seeking separation of the judiciary and the district administration in Islamabad.
• The Senate Standing Committee on Interior, which met with Senator Mohsin Aziz in the chair, also discussed a number of other bills.
• Besides the committee members, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, senior officials from the interior ministry and the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration participated in the meeting.
• The committee discussed the draft `Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act 2021` which seeks amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) 1898 to end judicial powers enjoyed by bureaucrats in Islamabad
4. Moody`s terms IMF programme revival `credit positive`
• Terming the revival of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme `credit positive` to help shore up foreign exchange reserves, the Moody`s Investor Service wondered if the government would sustain reform momentum after September 2022 as it enters the election mode.
• In a statement, the New Yorkbased rating agency said the disbursement of $1bn by the IMF `will partially offset pressures on foreign exchange reserves, while facilitating further financing from other official sources`.
• The rating agency said sustained progress on reforms areas revenue, energy and state-owned enterprise sector will not only raise economic productivity and competitiveness but also reduce contingent liability risks to the sovereign. `We believe Pakistan remains committed to advance other reforms under the IMF programme, likely unlocking further disbursements, Moody`s said.
5. US eases restrictions on funds transfer to Afghanistan
• In a major move towards easing restrictions on Afghanistan, the United States has now decided to allow international banks to transfer money to the country for humanitarian purposes.
• A directive issued by the US Department of Treasury earlier this week also allows aid groups to pay teachers and healthcare workers at state-run institutions without the fear of breaching US sanctions on the Taliban.
• `Both US and non-US companies can ship food to Afghanistan, and banks can process financial transfers and other transactions associated with food shipments to Afghanistan,` said the directive issued in Washington