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October 02, 2019: National Current Affairs
1. Cabinet approves first-ever e-commerce policy framework
• With a delay of more than three years, the Federal Cabinet on October 1, 2019 approved the much-awaited first-ever e-commerce policy framework.
• While approving the framework at the cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Imran Khan remarked that e-commerce will add synergy to Pakistan`s Kamyab Jawan Programme and One-Woman, One-Bank Account initiative, while proving to be a driver of youth empowerment and employment generation through digital connectivity.
• The current size of the local e-commerce industry seems to have no ballpark number.
• The only barometer to quantify is from sales proceeds. As per statistics, e-commerce sales in 2017 were Rs20.7bn, which grew by 93.7pc to Rs40.1bn in 2018.
• Compared to this, the e-commerce sales in India is $33bn, while in China it stood at $1,526bn. The e-commerce sales are very high in developed countries.
• Under the policy, there is a gradual shift of cash-on-delivery (CoD) payment method to digital payments, with a time line of September 2022 for payments beyond Rs10,000. Furthermore, efforts will be made to convert all CoD payments into digital payments preferably within 10 years (2029).
• Currently, 60pc e-commerce transactions by value are post-paid CoD transactions.
2. Pakistan receives Kartarpur draft agreement from India
• India yesterday forwarded a draft of agreement regarding Kartarpur Corridor to Pakistan.
• Pakistan, was considering to send a reply to the Indian authorities soon on the service fee issue.
• Prime Minister Imran Khan will inaugurate the project on November 9, three days before the 550th birth anniversary Baba Guru Nanank that will be celebrated on November 12.
• Pakistan also announced to invite former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the inaugural ceremony of Kartarpur Corridor. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that the decision to invite Singh was taken after high-level consultation. However, a formal invitation will soon be dispatched to him, he added. Indian media reports said Singh was unlikely to accept the invitation.
• Pakistan is building the corridor from the Indian border to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, while the other part from Dera Baba Nanak up to the border is being constructed by India. India is constructing a bridge at the zero point and has demanded Pakistan to build a similar bridge on its side that will provide safe and secure movements of pilgrims.
3. Rawalpindi gets two new towns
• Two new towns Dhamial and Daultala have been established while status of Murree has been changed from a municipal corporation to a municipal committee under the new delimitation process for the local government elections.
• The list has been displayed at the Deputy Commissioner`s Office after the process of redefining the limits of all seven tehsils of Rawalpindi district was completed.
• The tehsils are Rawalpindi, Gujar Khan, Murree, Kahuta, Kotli Sattian, Kallar Syedan and Taxila.
• The Punjab government intends to hold local government elections under the new Local Government Act 2019 and had asked the 36 districts of the province to conduct delimitation of all tehsils.
4. Farooq elected QCCI president
• Ghulam Farooq has been elected unopposed president of the Quetta Chamber of Commerce and Industry (QCCI) for the year 2019-20.
• According to the election committee, Badar-ud-Din Kakar has also been elected unopposed as senior vice president and Dawood Khan Khilji as vice president
5. Gwadar Port opens for transit trade
• Gwadar Port has been opened for transit trade and the first ship in this regard is set to arrive next week, a sub-committee of the Senate Standing Committee on Maritime Affairs was informed on October 1, 2019.
• Officials of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs briefed the subcommittee regarding transit trade and transshipment. The body was informed that the Afghan Trade Transit (ATT) Module required some changes that have been applied and after initial testing it is ready for application.
• The senate body was informed that the first ATT shipment would arrive on Oct 8, next week at Gwadar port, which will gradually increase.
October 2, 2019: International Current Affairs
6. China celebrates 70 years of communism
• President Xi Jinping declared on October 1, 2019 that `no force` can shake China as he oversaw a huge military parade to celebrate 70 years of Communist rule, while violent clashes erupted in Hong Kong where tens of thousands of prodemocracy protesters took to the streets.
• In his speech, Xi said China `must ad here` to the one country, two systems policy governing Hong Kong and `maintain the long term prosperity and stability` of the city.
• While Xi took salutes from some 15,000 troops in the capital, pro-democracy protesters took to the streets in Hong Kong as the semiautonomous finance hub convulsed with the most sustained and widespread clashes in months.
• Running battles raged for hours across multiple locations with police firing tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon against hardcore protesters throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails.
7. Former French PM faces trial over Pakistan arms deal
• France will try 90-year-old former prime minister Edouard Balladur over claims that he used kickbacks from a 1990s arms sales to fund a failed presidential bid, the country`s top prosecutor said on October 1, 2019.
• Balladur joins a long list of senior French politicians pursued for alleged financial wrongdoing, including deceased ex-president Jacques Chirac, Chirac`s successor Nicolas Sarkozy and two other ex-prime ministers. On the same day another court ordered former president Nicolas Sarkozy to stand trial for illicit campaign financing, adding to his legal woes as he also prepares to answer charges of exerting pressure on a judge.
• Sarkozy, 64, lost his Knal appeal to the highest criminal court, and risks a year in prison and a fine of 3,750 euros ($4,085) if found guilty.
8. Stolen golden coffin makes return from New York to Cairo
• Egypt displayed a gilded ancient coffin from the first century BC on October 1, 2019, which New York`s Metropolitan Museum of Art returned last week after US investigators determined it to be a looted antiquity.
• The coffin once held the mummy of Nedjemankh, a priest in the Ptolemaic Period some 2,000 years ago. It was put on display at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation in Cairo.
• Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Anany said the repatriation of this `unique, wonderful` artifact shows a `very strong solidarity` between Egypt and the US.
• The Met bought it from a Paris art dealer in 2017 for about $4 million and made it the centerpiece of an exhibition. The precious artifact was removed in February after proof of its theft was presented.
October 2, 2019: Sports Current Affairs
9. Pakistan to host international badminton event in November
• Shuttlers from 15 countries will compete at the International Series Badminton Tournament in Islamabad this year to receive qualification points for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, a senior official of the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) said on October 1, 2019.
• `The tournament, which has been approved by Badminton Asia and the Badminton World Federation (BWF), will be held at the Pakistan Sports Complex here from Nov 7 to 11,` Mohammad Azam Dar, PSB deputy director general (technical), told APP.
10. FIFA imposes life ban on ex-CONCACAF official
• FIFA has imposed a life ban for bribery on Enrique Sanz, the former general secretary of North American football body CONCACAF.
• Sanz was easily identified as an unnamed co-conspirator in US Department of Justice documents in 2015 No. 4 in the original indictment in May that year, and No. 3 in a superseding indictment unsealed that December.
• American federal prosecutors alleged that he arranged and took bribes linked to commercial deals for international soccer competitions with other officials linked to FIFA. They included World Cup qualifying games and the 2016 Copa American centenary tournament.