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August 28, 2018; National Current Affairs
First meeting: Bajwa, Imran vow to work closely for peace
- Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on August 27, 2018 pledged to work closely for establishment of peace in the country and the region.
- They expressed this resolve during a meeting held after Gen Bajwa`s maiden call on PM Imran Khan.
- They expressed resolve to bring enduring peace and stability in the country while also continuing efforts for regional peace.
- The army chief congratulated Mr Khan on assuming the prime minister`s office.
- The security situation in the country has improved vastly over the past few years due to military operations, but violence during election campaign and on polling day was a reminder of the f ragility of the progress made so far. The military has been in the driving seat with regards to security. The civilians, meanwhile, have in the past been accused of f ailing to adequately implement the National Action Plan.PM Khan has kept the interior ministry with himself in what is being seen as an attempt to directly oversee the matters related to security and law and order.
- At a separate briefing on security, PM Khan instructed officials of the interior ministry and its subordinate organisations to play their role in improving overall security situation in the country and providing a sense of security to the citizens.
Punjab cabinet sworn in Only 15 out of 23 ministers given portfolios
- As many as 23 newly-appointed members of the Punjab cabinet on August 27, 2018 took oath of their respective offices at a ceremony held at the Governor House, where acting governor Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi administered oath to them in the presence of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar.
- The ministers who took oath are: Abdul Aleem Khan, Hafiz Mumtaz Ahmad, Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht, Samiullah Chaudhry, Fayazul Hasan Chohan, Muhammad Sibtain Khan, Sardar Muhammad Asif Nakai, Hafiz Ammar Yasir, Yasir Humayun, Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed, Mian Aslam Iqbal, Malik Nauman Ahmad Langrial, Murad Rass, Chaudhry Zaheerud Din, Ansar Majeed Khan Niazi and Muhammad Hashim Dogar.
- The cabinet members have been picked from 13 districts, including five ministers from Lahore and three from Rawalpindi.
- Two ministers each have been taken from Chakwal, Kasur, Faisalabad and Rajanpur, while, one each has been taken from Attock, Mianwali, Sargodha, Jhang, Sahiwal, Bahawalpur and Rahim Yar Khan districts.
- Dr Yasmin Rashid is the only one woman member of the cabinet, who was given a reserved seat.
- The cabinet of the largest province in the country has no minority member.
- While 23 ministers took oath, the Punjab government initially notified portfolios of only 15 of them.
10-member Balochistan cabinet sworn in
- A10-member cabinet of the six-party Balochistan coalition government headed by Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani took the oath on August 27, 2018.
- Governor Mohammad Khan Achakzai administrated the oath to the ministers at a ceremony attended by CM Alyani, Chief Secretary Dr Nazeer Ahmed, MPAs and senior of ficials at Governor House.
- Eight out of the 10 new ministers belong to the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), one each to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and the Awami National Party (ANP).
- The ministers include Mohammad Saleh Bhootani, Mir Mohammad Arif Mohammad Hasni, Sarfaraz Chakar Domki, Tariq Khan Magsi, Mir Zahoor Ahmed Buledi, Mir Ziaullah Langove, Saleem Ahmed Khosa and Noor Mohammad Domar (BAP), Mir Nasibullah Khan Marri (PTI) and Engineer Zamarak Khan Piralizai (ANP).
Imran Ismail sworn in as 33rd Sindh governor
- Sindh High Court Chief Justice Ahmed Ali Sheikh administered oath to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf central leader Imran Ismail as the 33rd governor (According to Daily Nation) of the province at a ceremony held at the Governor House August 27, 2018.
- The new governor has replaced Muhammad Zubair of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, who had resigned after the general elections.
- Prior to his oath-taking ceremony, Mr Ismail, who was elected as a member of the Sindh Assembly from a Karachi constituency (PS-111) in the July 25 general elections, sent his resignation as a provincial lawmaker to the speaker.
- In his first media interaction after becoming the governor, he said that he would not restrict himself to a particular city as the whole province was his domain.
KP bans tea at official meetings
- Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmud Khan has imposed a ban on tea during officials meetings and directed authorities to adopt austerity and simplicity.
- Presiding over a high-level meeting on Bus Rapid Project (BRT), the CM directed presentation of water in glass rather than bottle and maintained that no tea would be served on guests during official meetings onward.
- He directed officials to show austerity by avoiding such things in meetings. The CM directed that no water bottle would be presented in any function rather water for drinking would be served on guest in glass.
August 28, 2018; International Current Affairs
Myanmar army chief must be prosecuted for ‘genocide’: UN
- UN investigators called August 27, 2018 for Myanmar’s army chief to resign and for him and five other top military commanders to be prosecuted in an international court for genocide against the country’s Rohingya minority.
- The call prompted Facebook, which has been criticised for allowing hate speech against the Rohingya to flourish, to ban the army chief and remove other pages tied to the country’s military.
- Some 700,000 Rohingya Muslims fled northern Rakhine state to Bangladesh after Myanmar launched a brutal crackdown in August last year on insurgents amid accounts of arson, murder and rape at the hands of soldiers and vigilante mobs in the mainly Buddhist country.
- Myanmar has vehemently denied allegations of ethnic cleansing, insisting it was responding to attacks by Rohingya rebels.
- But on August 27, 2018, a UN-backed fact-finding mission into violations in Myanmar said the country’s “top military generals, including Commander-in-Chief Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing, must be investigated and prosecuted for genocide in the north of Rakhine State.”
- They should also be investigated and prosecuted for “crimes against humanity and war crimes” against the Rohingya in Rakhine, as well as against other minorities in the northern Kachin and Shan States, the mission said in a report.
Russia hit with new US sanctions over nerve agent attack
- The United States imposed new sanctions on Russia on August 27, 2018 over the attempted assassination of a former spy in Britain using a lethal nerve agent.
- The sanctions include halting foreign aid to Russia, blocking the sale of items or services related to defence and national security, and banning any government credit support for any exports to Russia. However, sales and services related to space launches, both commercial and government, will continue.
- And the State Department has issued a non-specific `partial waiver` on the sanctions, a move which could dull their impact.
- The sanctions, first announced August 8, are a response to the March 4 failed attempt to kill former Russian intelligence agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal using Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
- The British government says the attack in Salisbury, England was undertaken by Russian operatives.
Israel developing missiles to hit anywhere in Mideast
- Israel is working on a new missile system capable of hitting targets anywhere in the Middle East, Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on August 27, 2018.
- State-owned arms manufacturer Israel Military Industries (IMI) would deliver `within a few years` an advanced integrated system `allowing precise hits by remote launching.
- Lieberman added that the contract with IMI was budgeted at `hundreds of millions of shekels`.The Israeli shekel is currently trading at 3.63 to the US dollar.
- The project for setting up a precision rocket and missile system is underway.
- Foreign military experts say it has several batteries of its Jericho ballistic missile, capable of delivering nuclear warheads.
- IMI said in 2004 that it had produced a cruise missile, the Delilah, with a range of 250 kilometres.
Iran challenges US sanctions at UN court
- Iran demanded on August 27, 2018 that the UN`s top court order the United States to suspend nuclear-linked sanctions against Tehran, but Washington vowed to `vigorously` fend off the legal challenge.
- Iran launched a suit at the International Court of Justice over US President Donald Trump`s decision to reimpose sanctions that were lifted in a landmark 2015 accord.
- Trump says the sanctions are needed to ensure Iran never builds a nuclear bomb. But Iran`s representative Mohsen Mohebi branded them `naked economic aggression`.
- His team of lawyers told the court in The Hague that the measures were already devastating Iran`s economy and threatening the welfare of its citizens.
- `The United States is publicly propagating a policy intended to damage as severely as possible Iran`s economy and Iranian nationals and companies,` Mohebi said. `Iran will put up the stron-gest resistance to the US economic strangulation, by all peaceful means.
- US lawyers are due to give their response in arguments before the court on August 28, 2018 (today), with experts expecting them to challenge the ICJ`s jurisdiction.
August 28, 2018; Sports Current Affairs
Arshad`s bronze gives Pakistan third medal at Asiad
- While Pakistan secured their third medal here at the Asian Games on August 27, 2018 when Arshad Nadeem clinched bronze in javelin throw event, most of country`s athletes of other disciplines continued to fare poorly at the continental gala.
- The 21-year-old Arshad from Khanewal won the bronze medal hitting the mark of 80.75 metres, with six attempts of 73.52, 76.73, 72.20, 80.75, 77.56 and 72.20.
- India`s Neeraj Chopra (88.05) won javelin`s gold medal while Liu Qizhen (82.22) of China seized silver.
- By winning the bronze in Jakarta, Arshad from Khanewal bettered his personal best which is also Pakistan`s national record from 80.45 metres he achieved in the qualification round at this year`s Commonwealth Games held on Gold Coast, Australia in April.
- Last year, Arshad seized bronze medal at the Islamic Solidarity Games staged in Baku where he recorded a mark of 76.33 metres.
- In 2016, he bagged two bronze medals, first at the South Asian Games organised in the Indian city of Guwahati and then at the Asian Junior Championships held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.Prior to Arshad`s bronze, Pakistan had secured two medals at the ongoing Asiad both bronze in karate and kabaddi.