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July 26, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. SC throws out pleas for full bench on Punjab CM election
• After a prolonged hearing that continued late into July 25, 2022 evening, the Supreme Court finally rejected a set of petitions moved by the ruling coalition partners seeking hearing of Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Parvez Elahi`s plea by a full court comprising all available judges to decide the issue of chief minister`s election.
• However, the Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial-led bench provided another opportunity to the counsel representing Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) member parties to come prepared on Tuesday so that Mr Elahi`s challenge to Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Dost Mohammad Khan Mazari`s ruling for discarding all10 PML-Q votes could be discussed threadbare.
• At the hearing, Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan, a member of the three-member SC bench, repeatedly mentioned that all what the court wanted was an explanation if the direction to lawmakers comes from party head or parliamentary leader
2. 1.5 million Afghans chose to stay back in Pakistan after US pullout
• Pakistan remains the largest refugee hosting country in Asia and the Pacific as 1.5 million Afghans still prefer to stay in this country, even though one year has elapsed since the US forces beat a hasty retreat from Kabul.
• The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a report released on Monday that the number of refugees in Asia Pacific region grew by 138,400 last year and now stood at 4.2m, or 19 per cent, of the global refugee population. This represents a three per cent increase over 2020.
• By Dec 2021, the `Documentation Renewal and Information Verification Exercise` (DRIVE) found there were 1,252,800 registered Afghans, carrying `proof of registration` (PoR) cards, in Pakistan
3. Alvi offers virtual educational facilities to Afghan students
• President Dr Arif Alvi on July 25, 2022 reiterated Pakistan`s offer to provide virtual and online education facilities to the students of Afghanistan through Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) and the Virtual University of Pakistan (VUP).
• He made this offer to Afghanistan through Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani, President Jamia Darul Uloom Karachi, who is visiting Afghanistan and is expected to meet top Afghan leadership, says a press release issued by the Presidency.
• Talking to Mufti Usmani, the president said that since Afghanistan did not possess nationwide internet connectivity, initially education materials of AlOU and VUP can be communicated to Afghan students, both male and female, through its television network
4. Droupadi Murmu sworn in as India`s first tribal president
• Droupadi Murmu was sworn in as India`s president on July 25, 2022, making her the first person from one of the country`s marginalised tribal communities to serve as head of state.
• The former school teacher and state governor was elected to the largely ceremonial position last week with 64 percent of the vote by members of India`s parliament and state assemblies. Murmu, who is from the Santhal tribe and was born in eastern Odisha state, paid her respects before her inauguration at a memorial dedicated to India`s independence hero Mahatma Gandhi in New Delhi.
• `I started my life journey from a small tribal village,` Murmu, 64, said after taking the oath of office in parliament. `From the background I come from, it was like a dream for me to even getelementary education,` she added
5. Taiwan holds drill in preparation for `Chinese action`
• Taiwan kicked off its largest annual military exercises on July 25, 2022, with trench warfare and shoulder launched Stinger missiles deployed against simulated Chinese attacks in drills informed by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
• Democratic Taiwan lives under constant threat of being seized by China, which views the self-ruled island as part of its territory to be taken by force if necessary.
• Russia`s assault on Ukraine has heightened fears that Beijing might similarly follow through on threats to annex its much smaller and outgunned neighbour