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1. ADB sees Pakistan`s economy slowing down in current fiscal
Anticipating a one percentage point f all in the rate of growth and two percentage points rise in inflation during the current fiscal year, the Asian Development Bank has advised the newly elected government to address rising debt obligations, falling reserves and large twin deficits.
Its flagship Asian Development Outlook 2018 update, the Manila-based lending agency said the economy appeared slowing down and forecast GDP growth rate to touch 4.8 per cent this year, compared to 5.8pc in the fiscal year ending in June 2018.
It said Pakistan`s 5.8pc growth last fiscal was higher than the ADB forecast, but the outlook is clouded by a large budget dencit, a deteriorating current account deficit and falling foreign exchange reserves. `The growth forecast for Pakistan in 2019 is downgraded in light of a pressing need to deal with large budget and external imbalances,` it said.
Also, the ADB noted rate of inflation growing significantly to 6.5pc at the end of current fiscal against about 4.5pc last fiscal year.
The bank said Pakistan required mobilising substantial external financing to buy time for orderly reform to reduce the large external and domestic imbalances. Such resources can be acquired from bilateral and multilateral sources, the diaspora, or international capital markets. `The key challenges are to adopt the right reforms and achieve good outcomes to sustain public support,` the report noted.
2. New rotation policy on PAS, PSP enforced
The Establishment Division (ED), Islamabad, finally enforced the new Rotation Policy 2018 for officials of the Pakistan Administrative Service/Police Service of Pakistan across the country after certain amendments.
The policy says the police officers who worked for consecutive 10 years in a province or the federal government will not be allowed to continue to work there.
They shall be either transferred to the federal government or the other provinces after the certain period decided in the new rotation policy.
Earlier, the ED had proposed transfer of the police officers to the federal government or other provinces after serving for five years consecutively in a province or in the Centre.
The establishment division has notified the policy accordingly after setting yard-stick of 10-year service after the PSP cadre mounted pressure on the federal authorities that the five-year period would lead to a `brain drain and human resource crisis` in the provinces in top grades.
3. Pakistan wants UNHRC to probe atrocities in India-held Kashmir
Pakistan has asked the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to establish a commission and appoint a special rapporteur to investigate human rights violations by Indian security forces in held Kashmir.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi made this appeal during his speech at a meeting of Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) on September 26, 2018 on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly`s special session.
`We urge the Human Rights Council for an expedited action to constitute the commission of inquiry to investigate gross human rights violations in India-held Kashmir, Qureshi said, adding that if India had nothing to hide, it must allow the rights bodies to visit Jammu and Kashmir.
`We also call upon India to give access to Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of OIC to undertake visit of India-occupied Kashmir.
4. President Alvi gets constitutional immunity in cases
President Dr Arif Alvi got constitutional immunity in a case registered against him under different sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) and the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) for inciting violence during the 2014 sit-in in the federal capital.
An anti-terrorism court (ATC) of Islamabad suspended the proceedings against Dr Alvi until he remained president.
`An accused person facing trial namely Dr Arif Alvi has already been elected and has taken oath of the office of President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Keeping in view the above fact in light of Article 2480f the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, protecd on has been provided to the President and as per Article 248 (2) of the Constitution, no criminal proceeding whatsoever shall be instituted or continued against the President or a Governor in any court during term of office,` wrote ATC Judge Syed Kausar Abbasi Zaidi.
5. OIC renews support to Kashmiri people
Members of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Contact Group on Kashmir on September 26, 2018 reaffirmed their complete solidarity with the Kashmiri people in their struggle for the right to self-determination and called for UN investigation of the gross human rights in Indian Occupied Kashmir.
In a meeting on the sidelines of the 73th session of UN General Assembly, they reaffirmed their resolve to support the “unwavering resolve of the Kashmiris for their right to self-determination.”
A communique issued after the meeting said that the conclusions, which were adopted, would be submitted for action by the Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC, which will meet next week.
The communique underlined the gravity of the situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir and emphasised that a just settlement of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions was also a pre-condition for lasting peace in South Asia.
Chaired by Secretary General of the OIC, Dr. Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, the meeting was attended by Mevlut Cavusagolu, the Foreign Minister of Turkey, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Elmar Mammadyarov, the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Abdallah al–Mouallimi, the Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to the UN and Kalla Ankourouu, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Niger.
6. China says plots to disrupt ties with Pakistan will fail
Any plots to sow discord in China`s ties with Pakistan will not succeed, the Chinese government`s top diplomat said on September 26, 2018, as Beijing fends off criticism of its economic projects in Pakistan and a clampdown in western Xinjiang region.
China has pledged $57 billion to build power stations, major highways, new railways and high capacity ports along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a key part of Chinese President Xi Jinping`s Belt and Road plan to further tie China to Eurasia.
The sustainability of Chinese projects has come under fresh scrutiny in recent months, as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned in July that any potential International Monetary Fund bailout for Pakistan should not be used to pay off Chinese lenders. Both Beijing and Islamabad say the loans are sustainable. China welcomes the good start made in its `all-weather` partnership with Pakistan following the election of the new government under Prime Minister Imran Khan, State Councilor Wang Yi told Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
September 27, 2018: International Current Affairs
7. Indian court limits use of biometric database
India`s top court on September 26, 2018 upheld the legality of the government`s Aadhaar national ID scheme, the world`s largest biometric database, but imposed new restrictions on how the personal details of more than one billion citizens can be used.
The ruling by a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court draws a line under many years of legal challenges from critics, who said Aadhaar threatened individual privacy and risked turning the world`s second-most populous nation into a surveillance state.
The government had insisted Aadhaar, which issues every Indian with a unique 12-digit ID linked to fingerprints and iris scans, would streamline welfare services and root out fraud.
8. WB urges developing countries to raise budget for health
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim called on developing countries to demonstrate commitment towards their people facing grave health challenges by allocating adequate financial resources for health.
He was speaking at a panel discussion held as part of a gala dinner organized in honour of tuberculosis (TB) survivors, activists, global health leaders and celebrities fighting against tuberculosis.
Titled `Our night with the Stars`, the event was organised on the sidelines of a high-level United Nations meeting on TB held on September 26, 2018. The dinner was co-hosted by Stop TB Partnership, Permanent Mission of Brazil to the United Nations, Permanent Mission of Zambia to the United Nations and Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations.
Sharing his experience of Carabayllo a district in the province of Lima in Peru where he ran a health project, Kim said that his team discovered an alarming number of patients suffering from multi-drug resistant tuberculosis in 1994.
9. Trump takes aim at China, Iran at UN Security Council
President Donald Trump on September 26, 2018 accused Iran of spreading chaos and China of meddling in US elections at a UN Security Council meeting that laid bare divisions between the United States and other world powers.
Presiding for the first time a meeting of the United Nations` body, Trump denounced the `horrible, one-sided` nuclear deal with Iran that he ditched in May, to the dismay of European allies.
A gavel-wielding Trump took a swipe at China, accusing Beijing of working against his Republican Party in upcoming midterm elections as payback for their growing trade war, a charge China`s foreign minister said was `unwarranted`.
The meeting highlighted a rift between the United States and its European allies over the Iran nuclear deal.
Trump vowed that reimposed sanctions will be `in full force` and urged world powers to work with the United States to `ensure the Iranian regime changes its behaviour and never acquires a nuclear bomb`.
Addressing the council after Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron hit back, declaring that concerns about Iran cannot be tackled with `a policy of sanctions and containment`.
September 27, 2018: Sports Current Affairs
10. BD in Asia Cup final after beating Pakistan
Mushfiqur Rahim scored a fighting 99 to guide Bangladesh into the Asia Cup final with a convincing 37-run win over Pakistan in Abu Dhabi on September 26, 2018.
The former skipper missed out a deserving century, but still lifted Bangladesh from a precarious 12-3 to 239 all out in 49.5 overs before they kept Pakistan down to 202-9 in 50 overs at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Mashrafe Mortaza`s team will now face defending champions India in the final in Dubai on September 28, 2018, with an opportunity to win the continental title for the first time.
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