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August 29, 2020: National / International Current Affairs
1. Amnesty blames Delhi police for `grave abuses` during riots
• Delhi police are guilty of `grave human rights violations` during communal riot s in the Indian capital earlier this year, and were even `active participants` in the violence, Amnesty International said on August 28, 2020.
• The worst unrest in years between India`s majority Hindus and minority Muslims killed around 50 people, most of them Muslims, over several days of running battles in the city`s northeast in February.
• A field investigation by Amnesty `has documented a disturbing pattern of grave human rights violations committed by the Delhi police during the riots`, the rights group said in a statement.
2. Govt to provide Sehat Insaf Cards to all residents of AJK
• After Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), the government on August 28, 2020 decided to provide Sehat Insaf Cards to all residents of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
• The decision was made during a meeting of the National Steering Committee on Sehat Sahulat Programme held at the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) and chaired by Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Faisal Sultan.
• The Sehat Sahulat Programme, according to the government, is the biggest social health protection initiative of the country and moving to achieve the mission of a prosperous and healthy nation. The programme is providing services to 8.4 million families in 90 districts of Pakistan and targeting to achieve 12.5 million families. The KP government has already decided to provide health facility to all the CNIC holders of the province.
3. Country repaid $10.14 billion loan in previous fiscal year
• Pakistan repaid $10.14 billion loan in previous fiscal year (2019-20), which also included the interest payment.
• The country’s total servicing of external public debt was $10.140 billion in last fiscal year against the annual repayment estimates of $10.423 billion for the entire fiscal year, according to the latest data of Economic Affairs Division (EAD).
• The breakup of $10.14 billion showed that the government had repaid $8.338 billion (82 percent of total external public debt servicing) as principal debt and $1.802 billion (18 percent) as interest on the outstanding stock of external public debt. During the year, 2019-20, the government had settled $4.401 billion worth of foreign commercial loans and repaid $1 billion worth of Sukuk issued in December, 2014. Further, the government repaid $2.212 billion to multilateral and $725 million to bilateral development partners. For the period July-June, 2019-20, net transfers to the government were $1.211 billion.
4. PN, Royal Navy UK conduct joint exercise White Star-2020
• Pakistan Navy (PN) and Royal Navy, UK have conducted joint Naval exercise WHITE STAR 2020 in North Arabian Sea and Passage Exercise in Gulf of Aden.
• In exercise WHITE STAR 2020 at North Arabian sea, Pakistan Navy Ships ZULFIQUAR and DEHSHAT, PN Aviation fixed and rotary aircraft and PAF JF-17 fighter participated with Royal Navy Ship HMS ARGYLL.
• In Passage exercise at Gulf of Aden, Pakistan Navy Ship SAIF and Royal Navy Ship HMS ARGYLL participated while the ships were deployed for Maritime Security Operations. The main objective of naval exercises between PN and Royal Navy was to further enhance collaboration through mutual exchange of experience and improve interoperability between the two navies. The exercises covered a range of naval operations encompassing anti-surface and anti-air warfare, manoeuvring and communication exercises to provide optimum training, according to the officials. These exercises are a testimony of PN’s resolve to contribute towards regional peace and stability. The exercises will further strengthen bilateral cooperation and ties between the navies of Pakistan and United Kingdom, said the Press release
5. UN, UAE bodies promise support for refugees, Pakistani women artisans
• The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and NAMA Women Advancement Establishment of the United Arab Emirates have decided to work jointly for empowering the marginalised Afghan refugees and Pakistani women through skill development in Quetta.
• Under a project, the UNHCR and NAMA, a Sharjah-based organisation, will support the semiskilled refugees and Pakistani women artisans who will have an opportunity to polish their carpet weaving skills and improve their income-generating capacity. The project is also supported by the IRTHI Contemporzan affiliate of NAMA.
6. Indian Army bans Muharram processions in IIOJK
• Indian occupation forces stopped Muharram processions by imposing strict restrictions across the Kashmir Valley and arresting dozens of mourners, in Indian illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) on August 28, 2020.
• The occupation authorities further tightened restrictions in Srinagar, Badgam, Baramulla and other areas to stop people from taking out Muharram processions. The commercial hub of Lal Chowk and adjoining areas of Srinagar were completely sealed.
• The Indian troops and police personnel deployed in strength across the occupied territory had blocked main roads by laying barricades and with concertina wires.
• However, defying restrictions, people tried to take out Muharram processions in Srinagar and other areas.
7. First Israel-Emirates commercial flight set for August 31, 2020
• An Israeli-American delegation will fly on the first commercial flight from Israel to the United Arab Emirates on August 31, 2020 after a landmark deal between the countries, officials said on August 28, 2020.
• `An official Israeli delegation will go to Abu Dhabi on a direct El Al flight for the first time ever,` a spokesman for Israel`s national carrier said, noting the flight from Tel Aviv was set for Monday.
• Jared Kushner, top aide and son-in-law to US President Donald Trump, has confirmed he will be on the flight, alongside National Security Advisor Robert O`Brien.
• Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu`s office said that National Security Advisor Meir Ben Shabbat will be leading the `professional delegation`.
8. EU urges Russia not to intervene in Belarus
• The EU urged Russia on August 28, 2020 not to intervene in Belarus after President Vladimir Putin vowed military support for the country`s embattled leader.
• As EU foreign ministers meeting in Berlin discussed the crisis, President Alexander Lukashenko facing unprecedented protests calling for him to quit accused the West of trying to topple him in order to weaken Moscow.
• Neighbouring Ukraine, which saw its own pro-Russian leader toppled after bloody protests in 2014, has offered refuge to Belarusians fleeing a regime crackdown.
9. Japan`s longest-serving premier to quit for health reasons
• Japan`s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on August 28, 2020 announced he would resign, ending his record-breaking tenure in a bombshell development that kicks off a leadership race in the world`s third-largest economy.
• Abe said he is suffering a recurrence of the ulcerative colitis that forced him to cut short a first term in office, and that he no longer felt able to continue as prime minister.
• `Now that I am not able to fulfil the mandate from the people with confidence, I have decided that I should no longer occupy the position of the prime minister,` he said
10. Scooby-Doo co-creator Joe Ruby passes away
• Joe Ruby, one of the masterminds behind Scooby-Doo has passed away at the age of 87.
• The animation writer and executive died of natural causes in Westlake Village, California.
• Ruby’s original series, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? was created in 1969 and involved a Great Dane named Scooby-Doo and his human companions solving mysteries involving supposedly supernatural creatures. Ruby was born in Los Angeles in 1933.
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