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March 04, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. Pakistan likely to remain on FATF grey list until June
• Pakistan is likely to remain on the so called grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for another four months i.e. until June for a couple of unmet targets under the additional criteria.
• The concluding session of the plenary meeting of the FATF, a Paris-based global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog, is due on Friday (today) and includes Pakistan`s review on the agenda.
• Pakistan is now targeting the full completion of the2021 action plan on antimoney laundering and combating terror financing (AML/CFT) by the end of January 2023.
• Pakistan has been on the grey list for deficiencies in its counter-terror financing and anti-money laundering regimes since June 2018.
2. Navy foiled Indian sub`s attempt to enter Pakistani waters: ISPR
• The Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) on March 3, 2022 said the navy had successfully foiled an Indian submarine`s attempt to enter Pakistani waters earlier this week.
• According to ISPR Director General Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar, Indian navy deployed its submarine against Pakistan with ulterior motives. However, yet again through continuous vigilance and professionalism, Pakistan Navy foiled Indian submarine`s attempt to enter Pakistani waters, he added.
• During the already prevailing security environment and ongoing Pakistan Navy`s Exercise Seaspark-22, the possibility of an Indian unit lurking into Pakistan`s maritime zone for reconnaissance and gathering information about the exercise was anticipated. Therefore, strict monitoring watch and stringent vigilance procedures were being enforced, the ISPR chief said
3. Pakistan, Uzbekistan seek release of frozen Afghan assets
• Pakistan and Uzbekistan pledged on March 3, 2022 to further cement their strategic, economic, social and cultural ties and emphasised the need for regional peace against the backdrop of the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan.
• The two sides renewed the pledge on the first day of a two-day visit of Uzbekistan`s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who arrived in Pakistan on Thursday in his first visit to the country after assuming office in 2016.
• During a joint press conference, Prime Minister Khan said trade between Pakistan and Uzbekistan had increased by 50 per cent. He said Pakistan wanted to enhance trade and connectivity between the two states and hoped that a rail link would also be established soon.
• The prime minister believed that both countries had the same stance on the issue of Islamophobia
4. Senate committee rejects Pakistan Psychological Council Bill
• The Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services (NHS) on March 3, 2022 unanimously rejected the Pakistan Psychological Council Bill as both houses have already passed the Allied Health Professional Council Bill and counselling has been included in it.
• Moreover, health ministry officials said that four MRI machines with fewer specifications will be procured as the budget for procurement was limited. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Senator Dr Mohammad Humayun Mohmand at the Parliament House.
• Furthermore, committee members addressed the matter relating to issuance of show cause notices to 22 doctors over practicing something that they had not specialised in, raised by Senator Dr Zarqa Suharwardi Taimur. A member of Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) informed the committee that PMC received a complaint from President House regarding an aesthetic practitioner but so far, PMC has examined eleven practitioners, four of whom were technicians and do not come in the ambit of PMC.
• Dr Zarqa said that PMC did not take any action against the practitioner mentioned in the complaint by President House
5. NA panel defers four key bills
• The National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance on March 3, 2022 deferred four important bills and directed the Finance Division to brief the committee in the next meeting.
• The committee chaired by MNA Faiz Ullah considered the four bills Covid-19 (Prevention of Smuggling) Bill 2020, Modaraba Companies (Flotation and Operations) (Amendment) Bill, 2021, State-owned Enterprises (Governance and Operations) Bill 2021 and Tax Law (Third Amendment) Bill 2021.
• All these bills were deferred to the next meeting with a directive for the ministry to submit a comparative statement on the bills.
• The Exim Bank of Pakistan chief executive officer informed the committee that the bank has been declared as development financial institution. It has been designated as the official Export Credit Agency of the country to be formed through an Act of Parliament