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February 06, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. US okays Masood`s appointment as Pakistan`s ambassador
• The Biden administration has accepted the appointment of Sardar Masood Khan as Pakistan`s ambassador to the United States, Foreign Office spokesman Asim Iftikhar said on February 5, 2022.
• `The US government has conveyed its agreement to the appointment of Sardar Masood Khan as the ambassador of Pakistan to the United States,` he said.
• Mr Iftikhar said Mr Khan would `assume his responsibilities in Washington D.C. in due course of time`.
• Pakistan`s current US ambassador Asad Majeed also confirmed the development. `I can confirm that we have received the agreement,` he told Dawn, rejecting the suggestion that there was an unusual delay in the approval.
2. Imran, Li vow to work for regional stability
• In wide-ranging talks with Chinese premier Li Kegiang, Prime Minister Imran Khan on February 5, 2022 underscored the importance of Pakistan and China working together to promote shared objectives of peace, stability and development in Afghanistan and regional connectivity.
• Afghanistan along with Kashmir was also the mainstay of Mr Khan`s meeting with President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev on the sidelines of Beijing Winter Olympics opening ceremony.
• During their interaction, marked by traditional sentiments of warmth, deep mutual trust and understanding, Mr Khan and the Chinese premier agreed to work closely on further deepening bilateral economic engagement and reaffirmed their commitment to advance the multifaceted strategic cooperative ties and building the Pakistan-China `Community of Shared Future in the New Era`, the PM Office stated.
3. Operation completed against terrorists in Panjgur, Nushki
• Security forces on February 5, 2022 completed operation against terrorists in Panjgur and Nushki. Nine security personnel, including an officer and JCO, were martyred and six others injured in the 72-hour operation.
• The Inter-services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement that 20 terrorists were killed during the operation.
• It said the terrorists attacked security forces` camps at Nushki and Panjgur on February 2, but both attacks were repulsed successfully by prompt response from troops.
• In Nushki, nine terrorists were killed. Four security personnel, including an officer embraced shahadat during shootout with terrorists while repulsing attack at the FC camp
4. No pension, gratuity for KP`s future government employees
• The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa establishment department has drafted a bill to do away with the pension and gratuity facility for future government employees after retirement amid fears of the province`s pension liability reaching Rs300 billion in the next 10 years.
• The proposed KP Civil Servant Amendment Act, 2022, will be tabled before the provincial assembly for mandatory approval following the cabinet`s nod.
• In the draft amendment, the KP Civil Servant Act 1973`s Section 19, which entities a government servant on retirement to pension or gratuity, has been replaced with a new section providing for the contributory pension fund for the future staff members of public sector department and organisations.
5. IMF wants SBP to roll back housing finance measures
• The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has asked the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to `unwind` the two key measures for the promotion of housing and construction activities.
• In July 2020, the SBP made it mandatory for banks to increase their share of lending portfolios for housing and construction sectors to five per cent by December 2021. In addition, the SBP changed capital adequacy regulations in June 2021 to lower the applicable risk weight to 100pc from 200pc on banks` investments in REITs or real estate investment trusts.
• The staff report, which the IMF released along with the $1 billion tranche under the resumed loan programme, said the international lender `urged` the central bank to wind down these measures `out of concerns for financial stability`.