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October 22, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. Pakistan sheds `grey list` mantle
• After a tough grind of almost four and a half years, Pakistan finally came out of an international watchdog`s so called `grey list` of countries that do not take full measures to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.
• `Pakistan worked through two concurrent action plans and completed 34 action points to remove strategic deficiencies in anti-money laundering and combating financing terror (AML/CFT) regime,` Raja Kumar, the president of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), announced at a news conference on October 21, 2022 in Paris, where the watchdog is based.
• `Pakistan is therefore no longer subject to the FATF`s increased monitoring process,` he said
2. Fitch downgrades Pakistan`s rating as liquidity risks mount
• After Moody`s downgrade, global rating agency Fitch on October 21, 2022 also cut Pakistan`s long-term foreign currency issuer default rating (IDR) to `CCC+` from `B-` due to worsening liquidity, political volatility and resultant policy risks.
• The New York-based agency one of the three major global rating agencies said it did not typically assign outlooks to sovereigns with a rating of `CCC+` or below. On Oct 6, Moody`s downgraded Pakistan`s local and foreign currency and senior unsecured debt ratings to Caal from B3 for increased government liquidity and external vulnerability risks and higher debt sustainability amid strong protest by Pakistan.
• Fitch said the downgrade reflected a further deterioration in Pakistan`s external liquidity and funding conditions and the decline of foreign exchange reserves. This is partly a result of widespread floods, which will undermine Pakistan`s efforts to rein in twin fiscal and current account deficits
3. NA again passes bill criminalising enforced disappearances
• The National Assembly on October 21, 2022 for the second time passed the bill seeking to declare enforced disappearances a heinous crime after removing a controversial section which provided for punishment to those filing false complaints.
• Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar agreed to withdraw the controversial Section 514 from the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2022, after a number of lawmakers, mostly belonging to the parties in the ruling coalition, protested over it and refused to vote for the bill in the present form.
• After Mr Tarar`s statement, Commerce Minister Naveed Qamar moved the amendment seeking to omit the controversial section from the bill aimed at criminalising enforced disappearances through amendments to Pakistan Penal Code 1860 and the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898.
• The bill was later unanimously passed by the house which was once again clearly lacking quorum, for which the presence of 86 members (one-fourth of the total 342-member house) is required.
4. Bill seeking to bar lawmakers` arrest lands in Senate
• A bill seeking to bar the arrest and preventive detention of lawmakers for specified periods landed in the Senate on Friday amid a noisy protest by the PTI demanding production orders of its member Azam Swati.
• The Members of Parliament Privileges Bill was moved by PPP`s Mian Raza Rabbani a day after the National Assembly passed a similar bill only for MNAs.
• The bill says no member shall be detained under any law pertaining to preventive detention at any time 15 days before the commencement and 15 days after the conclusion of a session.
• `When an FIR is registered or a Reference is filed, against a Member, the Chairman or Speaker, as the case may be, shall be informed and copy of the FIR or Reference, as the case may be, shall be provided within 24 hours of such registration or filing,` it reads
5. Rs3bn for GB`s flood-hit infrastructure approved
• President Arif Alvi, on the advice of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, approved Rs3 billion for the rehabilitation of infrastructure destroyed by floods in Gilgit-Baltistan.
• Chief Secretary Mohyuddin Ahmed Wani said the GB government would ensure that the grant was spent in a transparent and efficient manner, according to a press release issued on Friday.
• According to data provided by the GB Disaster Management Authority, the region was hit by glaciers and lake outbursts, triggering flash floods from July 1 to Aug 28
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