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March 16, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. UN designates March 15 as Day to Combat Islamophobia
• The UN General Assembly approved a resolution on March 15, 2022 setting March 15 as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia. The resolution was introduced by Pakistan.
• The resolution, adopted with consensus by the 193-member world body and co-sponsored by 55 mainly Muslim countries, emphasises the right to freedom of religion and belief and recalls a 1981 resolution calling for the elimination of all forms of intolerance and of discrimination based on religion or belief.
• It expresses deep concern at the overall rise in instances of discrimination, intolerance and violence, regardless of the actors, directed against members of many religions and other communities in various parts of the world, including cases motivated by Islamophobia, antisemitism, Christianophobia and prejudices against persons of other religions or belief s
2. Four FC men martyred as tragedy revisits Sibi
• Just two days after a landmine blast in Sibi, a bomb attack on a security forces convoy left at least four Frontier Corps personnel martyred and 10 others injured in the Sangam area of the district on March 15, 2022.
• The tragedy struck Sibi exactly a week after a suicide blast hit FC and police officials while they were wrapping up security arrangements following the departure of President Arif Alvi and other VVIPs from the area.
• Officials said the FC convoy was on its way to Sibi when it was targeted in the Sangan area, some 180km from Quetta. Sources said miscreants had planted an improvised explosive device (IED) along the roadside. `It seems the IED was detonated by remote control,` a police officer said
3. Senate body turns down bill for varsity at PM House
• A Senate committee on Tuesday rejected a bill for the establishment of a university at the PM House as promised by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
• The Senate Standing Committee on Education, which met at the Parliament House with Senator Irfanul Haq Siddiqui in the chair, held a detailed discussion on the `Pak University of Engineering and Technology Bill 2022`.
• The members were of the view that instead of spending billions of rupees on a new university, that too in the PM House, the government should strengthen the already existing universities
4. Khuhro`s Senate victory notified, subject to SC decision
• The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on March 15, 2022 notified Nisar Ahmed Khuhro as the winning senator of the Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians against a general seat from Sindh until March 2027, but explained that the notification would be subject to the outcome of a case pending before the Supreme Court.
• While the counsel for former lawmaker and ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) stalwart Faisal Vawda, Wasim Sajjad, requested the Supreme Court to suspend the ECP notification, the three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial declined to intervene, noting that the notification about PPP leader`s victory was `temporary` and emphasised that Mr Khuhro, being a necessary party in the matter, should also be made part of the case.
• Mr Khuhro`s notification was issued under Section 124 of the Elections Act 2017 at a time when the CJP-led bench was hearing Mr Vawda`s challenge to the ECP order of Feb 9, 2022, which rendered him ineligible for life to become a member of parliament again
5. Foreigners withdraw $166m from T-bills, bonds
• The foreign investment in the domestic bonds flew to the safe havens on a large scale during the first two weeks of this month reflecting the uncertainty on international as well as domestic fronts.
• The latest data of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) showed that the outflows from Market Treasury Bills (T-bills) and Pakistan Investment Bonds (PIBs) were $165.7 million against a net inflow of just $7.4m.
• These massive outflows indicated that the panicky foreign investors withdrew their investments from the country affected by the very high oil prices