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March 18, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. Anti-harassment committees formed in Balochistan
• Dr Rubaba Khan Buledi, the Parliamentary Secretary for Law and Parliamentary Affairs and Chairperson of the Women Parliamentary Caucus Forum, said on March 16, 2022 that the Balochistan government has set up anti-harassment committees in 17 departments of the province.
• Speaking at a dialogue on `Gender and Racial Equality` organised by the FDI Pakistan, she said efforts were being made to implement the law for providing a peaceful and harassment-free atmosphere to the working women in Balochistan.
• Dr Buledi said the process for formation of inquiry committees under Section 3 of the Anti-Harassment Act, 2016, was under way in all departments of Balochistan and so far such committees had been set up in 17 departments, while other departments were working on it
2. Govt declares `normalisation` as Covid-19 settles after two years
• Exactly two years after placing coronavirus-related restrictions, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on March 16, 2022 announced normalisation, as Covid-19 settled after infecting over 1.5 million people and taking 30,317 lives.
• Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said the decision of normalisation could increase the number of cases a little, but expressed the hope the situation would remain under control as over 70pc people had already been vaccinated.
• `It was decided in the NCOC meeting today to lift all restrictions, except the vaccination-related restrictions. All those who are not vaccinated must get fully vaccinated so that they can avoid all restrictions as they will have to face restriction until 80pc to 85pc people would become fully vaccinated. We will continue to monitor disease pattern closely and take action if needed,` the minister tweeted
3. First swap liver transplant surgeries at PKLI today
• The Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute (PKLI) is all set to conduct first time liver transplant operations of three patients under the `swap transplant programme` on March 16, 2022 (today).
• It will place Pakistan on the list of the countries conducting swap transplant procedures.
• Under the swap transplant policy, identities of recipients and donors are not shared. For today`s procedure, two of the recipients are women whose donors are also women.
• Headed by PKLI dean Prof Faisal Dar, a highly-trained team of the surgeons would perform liver transplants at the institute
4. Pakistan plays key role in adoption of UN resolution
• Pakistan played a key role, both in and out of the United Nations, in the adoption of March 15 as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia.
• On March 15, 2022, Pakistan presented a resolution in the UN General Assembly that called for designating a special day for this purpose. It was adopted by consensus by the 193-member world body.
• Fifty-five, mainly Muslim countries, co-sponsored the resolution that 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.
• March 15 was chosen as the anti-Islamophobia Day because it was on this day in 2019 that a right-wing extremist murdered over 50 Muslims in a terror attack on two mosques in New Zealand.
5. PIA starts flights to Baku
• Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has started its flight operations from Lahore and Karachi to Baku, Azerbaijan.
• Two simultaneous national flag carrier`s flights with 340 passengers on board arrived in Baku one flight departed from Karachi, while the other took off from Lahore on March 16, 2022.
• Simple cake-cutting ceremonies were held at Lahore and Karachi airports, while flowers and gifts were distributed among the passengers. Both flights operated with full loads