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February 10, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. PTI Senator Vawda sent off for being economical with truth
• The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on February 09, 2022 disqualified PTI Senator Faisal Vawda over concealment of his dual nationality, sparking a debate on whether the commission can exercise the jurisdiction of a court of law to declare somebody ineligible for a public office.
• An ECP bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja also directed Mr Vawda to return within two months the salary and other benefits he had received as a minister and a member of the National Assembly. It also de-notified him as senator.
• The ECP had on Dec 24 last year reserved its verdict on petitions seeking disqualification of Mr Vawda over concealment of his US citizenship.
2. Voting for second phase of KP local govt polls on March 31
• Polling for the second phase of local government elections in 18 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will be held on March 31, according to the revised poll schedule issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan on Wednesday.
• The development comes as the Supreme Court suspends the order of the Peshawar High Court`s Abbottabad bench to postpone the second phase of local government (LG) elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
• Though an order on Feb 1, the high court`s Abbottabad bench had postponed the elections slated to be held on March 27, declaring that five districts of the province are likely to have snowbound conditions in the last week of March.
3. SC suspends KP local govt poll postponement order
• The Supreme Court on February 09, 2022 suspended the Peshawar High Court`s (PHC) order postponing the second phase of local government (LG) elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
• A two-judge SC bench consisting of Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan and Justice Ayesha A. Malik also ordered issuance of notices to the respondents in the case the KP chief secretary, secretary of the Coordination Unit of Local Government Election and Rural Development Department, Fida Mohammad and Gul Badshah before adjourning the hearing till Feb 14.
• The PHC`s Abbottabad bench had in a verbal order on Feb 1 postponed the elections after accepting petitions of the residents of five districts of KP on the grounds that these districts were expected to remain under snow in the last week of March due to heavy snow accumulation and, therefore, it would not be possible to set up polling stations, dispatch polling staff and procure requisite record and other instruments
4. Govt move to facilitate trade with Afghanistan
• The government has decided to facilitate trade activities for war-torn Afghanistan by granting a temporary waiver of Electronic Import Form (EIF), a mandatory process of banking transactions for trade purpose.
• The decision was taken on Wednesday during a meeting of the Afghanistan Inter Ministerial Coordination Cell presided over by National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf.
• An official press release said the waiver, initially granted for 45 days, comes in compliance with the directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan to assist Afghanistan in addressing the impending humanitarian and economic crisis
5. ECC extends Saindak contract to Chinese firms
• The government on Wednesday approved pricing guidelines for the supply of Regasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) to K-Electric along with amendments to the existing legal framework and extended agreement with Saindak Copper-Gold Project with existing Chinese contractors for another 15 years.
• These decisions were taken at a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet presided over by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin that also authorised the issuance of a sovereign guarantee or standby letter of credit (SBLC) worth Rs6.944bn as operational Viability Gas Fund for construction of Sialkot Kharian Motorway on build-own-transfer basis