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January 31, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. Islamabad, Kabul agree to ease border crossing
• Pakistan and Afghanistan have decided to establish a national-level coordination mechanism for enhancing facilitation at border crossing points.
• The two sides have also pledged to initiate barter trade for which modalities will be worked out soon.
• The official announcements were made on Sunday when National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf concluded his two-day visit to Kabul where he met senior Taliban officials.
• During his trip, Islamabad and Kabul also refreshed the commitments to cement their diplomatic, social and economic ties and vowed to ensure peace and stability.
2. Nadra converting ID cards into digital wallets
• The National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) is working to make the computerised national identity cards digital wallets under the government`s Digital Pakistan vision and an update to an already existing app will likely be made available later this year.
• `Translating this vision into reality, we have launched the `Pak Identity` mobile app as a key building block of digital ID to facilitate applicants of national identity cards through an online portal. The app helps capture biometric fingerprints, facial recognition and scan documents needed for processing a person`s ID card using smartphones, without visiting a Nadra office or embassy,` Nadra chief Tariq Malik said in an exclusive tall( with Dawn.
• `In a short span, 75,000 overseas Pakistanis have processed their national identity cards [called Nicop] from the comfort of their homes by using the app, which is supported by two-factor authentication,` he explained
3. Quetta`s Red Zone reopened after 17 years
• The Red Zone on the city`s main thoroughfare, Zarghoon Road, was opened for traffic on January 30, 2022 on the orders of Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo.
• The Red Zone was closed for the general public around 17 years back. Now, all barricades and hurdles have been removed and its gates have been opened for the people.
• Governor Syed Zahoor Ahmed Agha and Mr Bizenjo appeared in the Red Zone and announced the removal of all hurdles from the area where important installations, including Governor House and Chief Minister House, Balochistan Civil Secretariat and residences of the chief secretary, inspector general of Balochistan police and many ministers are located.
4. Canada to appoint representative for combating Islamophobia
• The Canadian government has decided to appoint a special representative to combat Islamophobia, an official announcement has said.
• `Islamophobia and hate, in any form, have no place in Canada,` said a statement posted on the official website of the Canadian government.
• The announcement coincided with the fifth anniversary of a terrorist attack on a mosque in Quebec City.
• Six people were killed and 19 injured when a shooter opened fire in the city`s Islamic Cultural Centre in the Sainte-Foy neighbourhoodonJan29,2017
5. Israeli president on first visit to UAE amid regional tension
• Israel`s figurehead president met the powerful crown prince of Abu Dhabi on January 30, 2022 on the first official visit to the United Arab Emirates by the country`s head of state, the latest sign of deepening ties between the two nations as tensions rise in the region.
• The UAE and Israel normalised relations in the fall of 2020, part of a series of US-brokered diplomatic deals between Israel and Arab states that had long avoided formal relations with Israel over its decades-old conflict with the Palestinians.
• President Isaac Herzog met with Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the de facto Emirati leader. The UAE`s state-run WAM news agency described a royal welcome for the Israeli leader at the palace, with the Israeli national anthem blaring and 21-gun salute roaring.
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