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October 19, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. Military reassures nation N-arsenal in safe hands
• The army`s senior command on October 18, 2022 reassured the world that the country`s nuclear weapons and materials were well secured in accordance with the international standards.
• The assurance was reiterated at the 252nd Corps Com-manders` Conference held at the General Headquarters, chaired by army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.
• In a statement issued after the conference, which is held almost every month for reviewing the internal and external security situation and operational preparedness of the army, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said: `As a responsible nuclear weapon state, Pakistan has taken all measures necessary to strengthen its nuclear security regime, at par with international best practices
2. Islamabad backs Riyadh in oil row with US
• Pakistan on October 18, 2022 sided with Saudi Arabia in its row with the US over an OPEC oil supply cut.
• `In the wake of statements made against the kingdom in the context of OPEC+ decision, Pakistan expresses solidarity with the leadership of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,` Foreign Office said in a statement on the escalating controversy, which has seen Washington and Riyadh trade barbs.
• Islamabad`s surprise decision could potentially throw off the track efforts by the government to fix Pakistan-US ties, after the rupture caused by former prime minister Imran Khan`s allegation that Washington conspired to oust him after his trip to Russia and the recent remarks by President Biden about `nuclear weapons without any cohesion` The FO did not directly name the US in its statement
3. Floods damaged 43pc crops, 30pc orchards in Balochistan: UN report
• Monsoon rains and flooding have damaged 117,400 acres or 43 per cent of crops and vegetables and around 35,000 acres or 30 per cent of orchards with varying proportions in districts that were surveyed, the Rapid Needs Assessment Report on Balochistan says.
• The report was prepared by the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) of Balochistan, in collaboration with UN agencies, and released by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Af f airs (UNOCHA) on Tuesday.
• The highest crop and vegetable damage was reported in Lasbela, Pishin and Jhal Magsi, whereas orchards are mostly affected in Killa Saifullah, Kharan and Pishin, according to the report
4. National Assembly passes bills to reconstitute PMDC, repeal MTI Act
• The National Assembly (NA) on October 18, 2022 passed two amended bills seeking to reconstitute the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) and repeal the Medical Teaching Institution (MTI) Act.
• Both the bills were moved by PPP legislator Jam Abdul Karim. Already passed by the Senate, the bills will now be sent to President Dr Arif Alvi to get his approval after which they will become an act of parliament.
• It may be noted that the bills were already passed by the National Assembly but a number of amendments were made to them in the upper house and referred back to the NA for vetting.
• During the first week of the current month, the Senate passed the PMDC bill but after inserting dozens of amendments into it
5. Britain summons Chinese diplomat over alleged assault
• The UK`s foreign office on October 18, 2022 summoned a top Chinese diplomat in London over footage of a Hong Kong pro-democracy protester being assaulted in the grounds of a Chinese consulate in Britain.
• The summons came after Beijing earlier on Tuesday accused demonstrators of `illegally entering` the consulate in the northern British city of Manchester.
• British police have said a group of men came out of the consulate during a peaceful demonstration on Sunday afternoon, dragging one of the protesters inside the grounds and assaulting him. `The Foreign Secretary has issued a summons to the Chinese charge d`affaires at the Chinese Embassy in London to express… deep concern` over the incident `and to demand an explanation for the actions of the consulate staff`, a foreign office minister, Jesse Norman, told parliament.
• But Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the protesters were to blame and that `violation of the peace and dignity of China`s overseas embassies and consulates will not be tolerated`