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March 13, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. Pakistan demands joint probe into Indian missile fiasco
• Rejecting India`s claim to hold a `court of inquiry` of the `accidental` firing of BrahMos missile, Pakistan on March 12, 2022 proposed to New Delhi a joint probe into the incident to establish facts since the missile had landed into Pakistani territory.
• The Foreign Office (FO) also asked why India failed to inform Pakistan immediately about the `accidental launch` of the missile and raised questions regarding the Indian safeguards against such happenings.
• `Indian decision to hold an internal court of inquiry is not sufficient since the missile ended up in Pakistani territory. Pakistan demands a joint probe to accurately establish the facts surrounding the incident,` the FO said in a statement issued in response to Indian Defence Ministry`s explanation about the missile that struck a private property in Mian Channu on Wednesday evening after flying in from across the border.
• India claimed that missile was `fired accidentally` during a routine maintenance operation because of a technical malfunction and said a `high-level court of enquiry` had been ordered into the incident.
• Pakistani authorities do not trust the Indian version.
2. 89 indicted for Sialkot lynching
• An anti-terrorism court on March 12, 2022 indicted 89 individuals accused of lynching a Sri Lankan factory manager in Sialkot over blasphemy allegations.
• The victim, 49-year-old Priyantha Kumara Diyawadana, was tortured to death and his body was set on fire in December by furious workers of the Rajco Industries garment factory, where he was a manager.
• An FIR was later registered against 900 workers at the Uggoki police station for aggravated murder and burning of the body against dozens of unidentified people under terrorism and murder provisions. Several suspects were arrested in the following days
3. Facility set up for transfer of goods between Pakistan, Iran
• The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has decided to set up a border terminal at Taftan.
• Law and Procedures Secretary Mohammad Rizwan issued a notification for opening the Bazarcha Border terminal at Taftan, allowing the cargo transport to carry goods between Iran and Pakistan.
• The terminal includes 30 acres of land required at the terminal for loading and unloading and clearance of goods.
• The decision is expected to create employment and business opportunities for people in the border area
4. First locally assembled European vehicle launched
• Lucky Motor Corporation (LMC) on March 12, 2022 officially launched the country`s first locally assembled European vehicle Peugeot 2008 SUV followed by the opening of eight 3S dealerships in six cities.
• Peugeot is a French brand of automobiles owned by Stellantis. LMC will assemble various Peugeot models locally and is currently exploring opportunities to distribute these by early next year.
• At the launch event, LMC CEO Asif Rizvi said the company has invested Rs4 billion in the Peugeot project including plant, machinery and sales network which led to the creation of 650 jobs. He said LMC is set to change the automotive landscape of Pakistan by introducing a European brand
5. Afghan embassy in Washington to close for want of funds
• The Afghan embassy in Washington, under severe financial pressure and cut off from the new Taliban government in Kabul, will close down in the coming week, a senior State Department official confirmed on March 12, 2022.
• Its diplomats, holdovers from the old government, now have a month to apply for US visas before being deported though not back to Afghanistan, the official said.
• Around 100 diplomats currently work at the embassy in Washington or at Afghan consulates in Los Angeles and in New York, according to The New York Times.
• Roughly one-fourth have yet to apply to remain in the US, the American official said
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