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April 13, 2019: National Current Affairs
1. Suicide bomber heaps trauma on Hazaras
• At least 20 people, including security personnel and children, were killed and 60 others injured in a suicide attack at the Hazarganji fruit and vegetable market of Quetta and a motorcycle bomb blast in the border town of Chaman on April 12, 2019.
• At least eight people from the Hazara community and two children were among 19 victims of the suicide attack that was later claimed by a f action of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The group said it collaborated with the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LJ), though there was no confirmation from the latter.
• In Chaman, the target of the motorbike blast was a vehicle of security forces carrying personnel of the Frontier Corps (FC), officials said. They said it left one dead and 12 others, including two FC personnel, wounded.
• About the Quetta attack, official sources said the suicide bomber blew himself up when Hazara community members, after purchasing vegetable and fruit, were loading their vehicles. The community members had earlier arrived at the market under the security cover of FC.
2. AGP resigns with `resolve to fight injustice`
• A full bench of the Lahore High Court has dropped contempt proceedings against Advocate General of Punjab Ahmad Awais.
• Mr Awais tendered his resignation saying he did not want to be a reason for any clash between the government and the judiciary.
• However, in a video message shared on the social media, he announced that he would contest, what he claimed, the gross misconduct, irregularity and illegality committed by the bench.
• `Since I have resigned it will be convenient for me to openly contest and reveal facts of the case, Mr Awais said in the video claiming that he had just tried to lodge a protest before the bench as it was going to announce a verdict without hearing the point of view of the province`s top law officer. Mr Awais sent his resignation to the Punjab governor.
• The PTI-led provincial government had appointed Mr Awais as AGP in September 2018
3. Minchinabad AC removed
• Minchinabad Assistant Commissioner Mudassir Arif Khokhar has been transferred with immediate effect by the Punjab Additional Chief Secretary Ajaz Ahmed.
• The official has been ordered to report to the S&GAD. He has been replaced by Bahawalnagar Assistant Commissioner Yasir Fareed, who has been given the additional charge of the position.
• Khokhar is facing an embezzlement case. He returned some amount of the embezzled money on April 11, 2019.
• It has been learnt that Bahawalnagar Deputy Commissioner S D Khalid has been made officer on special duty. He has been replaced by Saleem Afzal as the Bahawalnagar Deputy Commissioner. Prior to this, Saleem Afzal was serving as the Bahawalpur Deputy Commissioner.
4. Four promoted to rank of lieutenant general
• The army on April 12, 2019 announced promotion of four major generals to the rank lieutenant general.
• Those promoted are Maj Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza, Maj GenNauman Mahmood, Maj Gen Azhar Abbas and Maj Gen Faiz Hameed.
• An interesting feature of the promotions is that three of the promoted officers are from the Baloch Regiment, while two of them are currently serving in the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).
• Another important element of the current promotions is that these four will make the list of the senior most three-star generals in the army at the time of change of command in 2022.
5. Cybercrimes against women on the rise, says report
• All manner of cybercrimes registered an uptick last year, especially harassment and blackmailing of women. Most of these crimes were committed through Facebook and WhatsApp.
• The year also saw pornographic content involving children being produced and disseminated online from within Pakistan, said a report launched on April 12, 2019.
• Titled Pakistan`s Internet Landscape 2018, the report has been formulated by Bytes for All, Pakistan a human rights organisation and a think tank with a focus on information and communication technologies and authored by Dawn.com Editor Jahanzaib Haque.
• The report, the fourth one since 2013, maps digital trends about citizens` social, economic and political gains as well as assesses how responsive the government has been to people`s problems and provides an insight as to how the state could improve governance.
April 13, 2019: International Current Affairs
6. Malaysia revives China-backed rail link after cost cut
• Malaysia`s government said on April 12, 2019 it has decided to resume a China-backed rail link project, after the Chinese contractor agreed to cut the construction cost by one-third.
• The deal follows months of vacillating over the East Coast Rail Link, which connects Malaysia`s west coast to eastern rural states and is a key part of China`s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative.
• It should also help bolster ties between China and Malaysia that were strained when Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad suspended the project after his election last May.
• The prime minister`s office said in a statement that the construction cost of the first two phases of the project will be cut to 44 billion ringgit ($10.7 billion), down from the original cost of 65.5 billion ringgit ($15.9 billion).
7. Sudan`s coup leader quits amid protesters` calls for civilian rule
• Sudan`s Defence Minister Awad Ibn Auf said on April 12, 2019 that he had decided to step down as head of the country`s transitional military council, a day after former president Omar al Bashir was overthrown in a coup.
• Lt Gen Abdel Fattah Abdel Rehman Burhan will be the new head of the transitional military council, Ibn Auf said in a speech broadcast on state television.
• Gen Auf`s decision followed continued demonstrations in which protesters vowed to chase out the country`s new military rulers. The army offered talks on forming a civilian government after it ousted president Omar al Bashir.
8. Guidelines for implementation of UNSC 1267 sanctions unveiled
• The Foreign Office on April 12, 2019 unveiled the `Guidelines for the Implementation of the UNSC 1267 Sanctions`, which are expected to improve the understanding of government authorities about sanctions regime and facilitate compliance.
• Speaking at the launch ceremony, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua said that while the country consolidated gains made against terrorism through effective implementation of the National Action Plan, it was important to be `mindful of fulfilling its international legal obligations, including the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Sanctions which have been adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter`.
• The launch was attended by a large number of federal and provincial government officials and representatives of financial institutions, law enforcement and other implementing agencies.
9. Facing hurdles from US, ICC judges reject Afghan probe
• Just days after the United States government revoked the visa of the International Criminal Court`s prosecutor, ICC judges rejected her request to open an investigation into alleged atrocities in the war in Afghanistan, citing practical reasons.
• The decision on April 12, 2019, which prosecutor Fatou Bensouda might appeal and which angered human rights groups, means that neither the United States nor the Afghan government and the Taliban will face any investigation at the international court for alleged crimes that date mostly from 2003-2004.
• As expected, President Donald Trump welcomed the decision. `This is a major international victory, not only for these patriots, but for the rule of law,` he said in a statement. `We welcome this decision and reiterate our position that the United States holds American citizens to the highest legal and ethical standards.
April 13, 2019: Sports Current Affairs
10. Sohail`s heroics seal Pakistan Cup for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
• Balochistan missed a golden chance to clinch their maiden Pakistan Cup on April 12, 2019 night as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa engineered a brilliant comeback at the Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi to lift the coveted one-day trophy for the second time in four seasons.
• Winners of the inaugural event at the same venue in 2016, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa emerged victorious by a slender margin of eight runs on the back of magnificent bowling by the trio of Sohail Khan, Umaid Asif and Wahab Riaz in death overs after Balochistan set up a wonderful platform through Awais Zia`s 94-ball 83 (10 boundaries) and skipper Asad Shafig`s 45-ball 48 (seven fours).
• But the experienced pace trio employed astutely by Salman Butt derailed the chase so badly that Balochistan panicked. Fawad Alam found it increasingly hard to generate big hits when it mattered as the former Pakistan left-hander huffed and puffed to a 61-ball 48 with two fours, while Balochistan only reached 299-9 in pursuit of the 308-run target.