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September 05, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. Ceasefire `holding` amid evolving TTP threat
• The ceasefire between the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and law enforcement agencies is holding, despite sporadic attacks, officials say.
• Negotiations to sue for peace with the TTP to end nearly two decades of conflict in the tribal districts bordering Afghanistan have been on hold since the last delegation, comprising largely of tribal notables, held a round of talks towards the end of July, officials familiar with the process say.
• `There has been no movement. Everything is on hold,` says an official.
• Recently, questions were raised over the fate of peace talks after reports that armed militants had returned to Swat, Dir and parts of the tribal districts
2. Turkish aid for the flood-hit PR to receive goods in Zahedan
• The Pakistan Railways (PR) will receive relief goods-laden Turkish train in Iran`s Zahedan city by the end of this week as necessary arrangements have been made.
• After transshipment at Zahedan, the train would bring the goods to Taftan likely on Sept 12, Dawn has learnt. The train carrying relief goods in 24 wagons was dispatched by the Turkish government on Aug 30 to the Pakistan government to help the flood-hit.
• The train moved from Turkey`s capital Ankara and entered the territory of Iran on Sunday and is likely to reach Zahedan on Sept 9.
• According to senior officials, the transshipment of the goods (unloading of the Turkish train and loading / shifting the goods to Pakistani wagons) would be done at Iran`s Zahedan station, about 100kms away from Taftan -the country`s last station bordering Iran
3. IMF sees policy reversals behind rising debt
• The country`s public debt sustainability has deteriorated because of policy reversals by the PTI government in the second half of the previous fiscal year ending June, but it is expected to improve going forward with steadfast implementation of a tight policy matrix.
• `The debt-to-GDP ratio is now projected to rise from 77.9 per cent at end-FY21 to 78.9pc at end-FY22 before falling to around 60pc by end-FY27, assuming the adjustment efforts in the context of the EFF [extended fund facility] programme are fully carried out,` the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its latest report on Pakistan.
• It said that while gross financing needs (GFN) remain elevated over the near term amid sizeable fiscal deficits and limited progress in lengthening maturities, GFNs are projected to decline over the medium term reflecting programmed fiscal consolidation and efforts to enhance cash and debt management reaching 17.2pc of GDP by FY27
4. Islamabad`s ties with Kabul face new challenges after Taliban takeover: experts
• Pakistan`s relations with Afghanistan have been facing new challenges over the last one year since Taliban took over Kabul and Islamabad needs to adopt a regional approach while framing any policy towards the landlocked country.
• This was the view of experts at a consultation on `Afghan peace and reconciliation: Pakistan`s interests and policy options` organised by Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS).
• The experts stressed that Pakistan should revisit its policy towards Afghanistan and treat the country as a sovereign state
5. Monstrous floods, rains killed 289 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: PDMA
• At least 289 people were killed including 109 children and 348 others were injured so far due to floods and rain related incidents in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa since June 15.
• The devastating deluge and rains also completely damaged 35,123 houses while 52,327 were partially damaged across the province, according to a report compiled by Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA).
• Of the 289 people killed due to floods and rains, 139 are men, 109 are children and 41 are women.
• Among the injured, 139 are men, 130 are children and 79 are women