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May 21, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. Punjab `in limbo` after PTI dissidents shown the door
• In a development that is set to deepen political crisis in Punjab, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on May 20, 2022 de-seated 25 PTI-affiliated members of the Punjab Assembly because they voted for PML-N`s Hamza Shehbaz in the election for the office of chief minister, against party directions.
• `……we are of the view that the casting of votes by the respondent in favour of opposing candidate is a serious issue and worst form of betraying the electorate and party`s policy. Therefore, we hold that the defection in the subject cases shall not depend upon strict proof of observance of pre-requisites as provided in Article 63-A.
• `. .the respondents cease to be members of Punjab assembly and their seats become vacant,` ECP held in its decision
2. Budget to be presented on June 10, says official
• Amid ongoing talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Doha, the government seeks to present the federal budget 2022-23 in the National Assembly on June 10.
• `The annual budget for FY2022-23 along with the Finance Bill 2022 is scheduled to be presented in the National Assembly of Pakistan on Friday, June 10, 2022,` Secretary Finance Hamed Yaqoob Sheikh has informed the relevant authorities conveying the approval of the prime minister of the budget schedule.
• Mr Sheikh also asked Secretary Cabinet Division that `a special budget meeting of the federal cabinet may kindly be convened for the consideration of the budgetary proposals`
3. Govt to revive dormant Nacta, review NAP, NA told
• Admitting that terrorism is on the rise in the country, the new coalition government on May 20, 2022 informed the National Assembly that it had decided to revive the dormant National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) and review the National Action Plan (NAP) that had been launched by the previous PML-N government after the terrorist attack on Army Public School in Peshawar in 2014.
• The announcement came from Minister for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb while responding to the speech delivered by Dr Fehmida Mirza of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) on a point of order as the house saw another minister blasting the judiciary for banning the transfers and postings of the officers investigating high-profile corruption cases through a suo motu notice.
• In another development later in the evening, Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf nominated PTI dissident from Faisalabad Raja Riaz Ahmed as the new opposition leader-a position that has acquired great significance after the passage of the 18th Constitution ISLAMABAD: Admitting that terrorism is on the rise in the country, the new coalition government on Friday informed the National Assembly that it had decided to revive the dormant National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) and review the National Action Plan (NAP) that had been launched by the previous PML-N government after the terrorist attack on Army Public School in Peshawar in 2014
4. Shehbaz proposes including Turkey in CPEC
• Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has proposed turning the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) into a `trilateral arrangement` between China, Pakistan and Turkey so that all three nations could benefit from its potential.
• He made the remarks while addressing a launching ceremony on Friday at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works for the third Milgem corvette built by Turkey, where he was the chief guest. `Trade activities have the potential to increase manifold with the development of financial and industrial activities. The ongoing CPEC project is set to translate our desire to enhance regional connectivity and maximise trade […] with Gwadar at its focal point,` the premier said.
• `I would like to avail this opportunity to propose that let this CPEC be a trilateral arrangement between China, Pakistan and Turkey and let us benefit from its wonderful potential to benefit our nations,` he said, assuring the participants that the government was committed to developing maritime infrastructure
5. Bilawal arrives in China today
• Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari is scheduled to arrive in China on Saturday (May 21, 2022) on a two-day visit on the invitation of State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
• According to an official statement of the Foreign Office, the minister of state for foreign affairs and senior officials would be part of the foreign minister`s delegation.
• During the visit, the foreign minister will hold extensive consultations with Mr Wang.
• The two leaders will review the entire gamut of bilateral relations with particular focus on stronger trade and economic cooperation between the two countries