WELCOME TO CSS TIMES DAY BY DAY CURRENT AFFAIRS, YOUR BEST SOURCE FOR UP-TO-DATE AND DAILY TOP CURRENT AFFAIRS 2021 FOR PREPARATION OF CSS, PMS, BANKING, NTS, RAILWAYS AND ALL COMPETITIVE EXAMS. “DAY TO DAY CURRENT AFFAIRS” BASICALLY IS TOP 10 NEWS SUMMARY ON CURRENT HAPPENINGS OF NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL IMPORTANCE FOR ALL EXAMINATIONS
February 15, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. Army chief holds rare same-day talks with President, PM
• Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Bajwa on February 14, 2022 met President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran.
• Although the army chief`s meeting with the prime minister took place on the sidelines of the apex committee on Afghanistan`s session, it is rare for an army chief to meet both heads of the state and the government on the same day.
• The brevity of a statement on Khan-Bajwa meeting issued by the PM Office added to the curiosity of political observers about what could have been possibly discussed between them.
• All that the PMO had to say about the meeting was `Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa called on Prime Minister Imran Khan today.
2. Pakistan, Iran form joint working group on border issues
• Pakistan and Iran established a joint working group of their interior ministries on February 14, 2022 to deal with border-related matters.
• The group was set up during a daylong visit of Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi.
• The Iranian minister met Prime Minister Imran Khan, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Bajwa. The discussions, which took place in the backdrop of recent terrorism incidents in Balochistan, were dominated by border security.
• Mr Vahidi`s visit followed close on the heels of ISI Chief Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum`s unannounced trip to Iran over the past few days
3. NA panel defers key bills under IMF programme
• The National Assembly`s Standing Committee on Finance on February 14, 2022 did not approve four key government bills, including those on fiscal responsibility and debt limitation and management of state-owned enterprises, required under the ongoing programme of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
• The committee meeting, presided over by PTI MNA Faiz Ullah, discussed the State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Governance and Operations Bill, 2021 but decided to defer it after the members opposed allowing hundreds of entities to have their own procurement rules.
• The members agreed that uniform procurement rules as were applicable at present under the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) had limitations to effectively deal with all state owned entities and get the best out of public money but it was also another extreme to allow different SOEs to set their own procurement rules
4. Wheat trucks from Wagah to proceed toll-free till Torkham
• Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry has announced that Afghan trucks carrying wheat from India through Pakistan to the war-torn country would be allowed to pass toll-free.
• Islamabad has completed arrangements to facilitate the supply of wheat by India to Afghanistan on humanitarian grounds and assigned the customs department to ensure hassle-free formalities.
• Under the arrangement, 60 trucks would reach Wagah Border (Lahore) from Afghanistan to further travel to Attari (India) and collect the first consignment of wheat from Indian authorities.
5. Russia-Ukraine crisis to hurt Pakistan`s current account
• The looming military crisis on the seemingly distant border of Russia and Ukraine may result in the deterioration of Pakistan`s current account balance, a research report by Ismail Iqbal Securities said on February 14, 2022.
• The crisis is likely to cause another rally in the prices of energy, food commodities and semiconductor chips. Pakistan will take a direct hit as the bulk of its wheat imports are from Ukraine. Islamabad received 39 per cent of its total imported wheat from Kyiv in the last fiscal year.
• `Any disruption in wheat imports will result in higher food prices in addition to higher energy prices,` the brokerage said.
• Russia has amassed over 100,000 troops along the 2,300-kilometre Ukraine border to pressure Ukraine and the European Union through joint military drills with Belarus. In response, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato), a Western military alliance, has put 4,000 troops on standby in Eastern Europe