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March 06, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. Pakistan urges Russia to find diplomatic solution to war
• Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Saturday emphasised the need for diplomatic solution to the war in Ukraine, calling for de-escalation and adherence to the fundamental principles of UN Charter.
• He also underscored `the need for a diplomatic solution in accordance with the relevant multilateral agreements, international law, and provisions of the UN Charter,` said the Foreign Office in a statement.
• Mr Qureshi`s call was part of his latest outreach over the situation in Ukraine after he had spoken to EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borell, and foreign ministers of Hungary (Péter Szijjártó), Romania (Bogdan Aurescu), Poland (Zbigniew Rau), and Ukraine (Dmytro Kuleba)
2. Ban on new electricity connections in capital lifted
• The ban on new electricity connections in the federal capital territory has been lifted and the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has informed the chief executive officer (CEO) of Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) about the decision.
• The development has become possible because of efforts made by Federal Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar and other members of National Assembly from Islamabad Ali Nawaz Awan and Raja Khurram Nawaz.
• MNA Awan told Dawn that one million residents of the capital will benefit from the move as they were living in new houses without electricity connections
3. Food prices jump 20.7pc to hit record high in February: UN
• World food prices hit a record high in February, led by a surge in vegetable oils and dairy products, to post a 20.7 per cent increase year-on-year, the UN food agency said on Friday.
• The Food and Agriculture Organisation`s (FAO) food price index, which tracks the most globally traded food commodities, averaged 140.7 points last month against a downwardly revised 135.4 in January. That figure was previously given as 135.7.
• Higher food prices have contributed to a broader surge in inflation as economies recover from the coronavirus crisis and the FAO has warned that the higher costs are putting poorer populations at risk in countries reliant on imports
4. Punjab set to launch another four economic zones
• In a bid to promote the manufacturing sector, encourage diversification in exports and boost the country`s economy, the government has established 10 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in various parts of Punjab.
• The construction of four more SEZs is about to be launched as approval from authorities is awaited, Dawn learnt on Thursday. Land for the first Special Technical Zone (STZ) in Lahore meant for the promotion of services sector has also been allocated.
• `10 SEZs has been completed including the Allama Iqbal Industrial City (AIIC) near Faisalabad where the Chinese plan to invest by establishing industry under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project,` an official of the Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) told Dawn when contacted on Thursday
5. Haqqani makes rare public appearance to `build trust`
• The Taliban`s acting interior minister and one of the most secretive leaders of the group, Sirajuddin Haqqani, made his first formal public appearance on Saturday when he addressed new Afghan police recruits at a passing-out parade.
• `For your satisfaction and for building your trust… I am appearing in the media in a public meeting with you, said Haqqani in a speech at the parade, attended by several diplomats, including Pakistan`s ambassador, even though none of the countries has officially recognised the new Taliban regime.
• Haqqani`s appearance also suggests the Taliban have grown more confident of their hold on Afghanistan since seizing power on August 15, 2021, two weeks before the last US-led foreign forces left