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December 2018

Day by Day Current Affairs (December 25, 2018) | MCQs for CSS, PMS

Important Current Affairs Daily Updates
Written by Shahzad F. Malik

December 25, 2018: National Current Affairs

1. PM, Qatari emir discuss Afghan peace process

• Prime Minister Imran Khan on December 24, 2018 spoke to Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalif a Al-Thani while Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi embarked on a four nation tour aimed at taking regional countries on board about Pakistan`s fresh push to jumpstart the Afghan reconciliation process.
• `Two days, four countries. We`re not slowing down as the year ends,` Mr Qureshi tweeted as he began his tour to Afghanistan, Iran, China and Russia. Underscoring the importance of his trip, he said: `A collective out-ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday spoke to Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalif a Al-Thani while Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi embarked on a fournation tour aimed at taking regional countries on board about Pakistan`s fresh push to jumpstart the Afghan reconciliation process.
• Pakistan last week facilitated a meeting between the United States and the Taliban in Abu Dhabi in a bid to pave the way for reviving the peace process that has remained stalled since 2015 when it broke down due to a news leak that insurgency`s leader Mullah Omar had long been dead.

2. Pak envoy to US Ali Jahangir Siddiqui resigns

• Pakistan’s ambassador in the United States Ali Jehangir Siddiqui stepped down from his post.
• The outgoing ambassador said that during his tenure the trust deficit present between the United States and Pakistan shrunk as both the countries looked for shared ground on diplomatic issues including Afghanistan war.

3. Ship-breaking yard approved for Gwadar

• Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved establishing ship-breaking yard in Gwadar and a policy board for the same is being formulated.
• This was announced during a high-level review meeting on the subject, chaired by Chief Minister Balochistan and attended by Federal Minister for Defence Production Zubaida Jalal and Finance Minister Asad Umar.
• The meeting was informed CM Balochistan would also be a member of this policy board.
• The PC1 document of Gwadar Shipbreaking Yard was presented in 2007 but could not proceed due to lack of interest by successive governments.
• Now prime minister has approved the project on a partnership basis with the induction of manufacturing, training workshops, and parking stations.

4. 400,000 children missed during nationwide polio drive

• Almost 400,000 children were missed during the nationwide polio vaccination campaign held this month.
• 260,000 frontline workers participated in the campaign.
• Almost 90pc of the 37.73 million under-five children targeted were covered during the campaign and 92pc of the children who were missed were vaccinated during the catch-up. An extended catch-up is being conducted this week to vaccinate the remaining children.
• Despite a significant case decline, the presence of the virus in sewerage water from urban areas indicates that our job is not yet done.

5. PIA launches new flights to Thailand, Malaysia

• The country’s national flag carrier Pakistan International Airlines launched new flights to Bangkok, Thailand and Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia on December 24, 2018.
• There will be twice-weekly flights from Lahore to Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.
• The Lahore-Kuala Lumpur flight has resumed after a gap of two years, the spokesperson added.
• The Lahore-Kuala Lumpur flight will stop over in Bangkok. Another flight will run from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok.

December 25, 2018: International Current Affairs

6. Israeli govt falls, early elections called for April

• Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu`s government agreed on December 24, 2018 to hold early elections in April after the ruling coalition appeared to come up short on votes needed to pass a contentious piece of court-ordered legislation.
• Netanyahu said his coalition `unanimously` agreed to disband the government and hold a new election. At a meeting of his Likud faction, he listed his accomplishments in office and said he hoped his current religious, nationalistic coalition would be the `core` of the next one as well.
• The Knesset, or parliament, is expected to hold a vote on Wednesday to formally dissolve, setting the stage for a three-month election campaign and a likely vote on April9.

7. Order to pull out US troops from Syria signed: Reports

• The execute order to withdraw US forces from Syria has been signed.
• The order had been signed by outgoing US Defence Secretary James Mattis.
• The order clarifies how and when the withdrawal of US troops from Syria will take place, but the source refused to give any further details on the matter
• Mattis announced his resignation, a day after US President Donald Trump decided to withdraw US troops from Syria, saying on Twitter that the United States had defeated the Daesh terrorist group in the Middle Eastern country

8. US to coordinate troop withdrawal from Syria with Turkey

• A US military delegation will visit Turkey this week to discuss the withdrawal of American ground forces from Syria.
• They will discuss how to coordinate (the withdrawal) with their counterparts.
• The US has for years supported the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the fight against the militant Islamic State (IS) group in Syria.
• Critics of Trump`s move fear that thousands of IS members could make gains in Syria, despite the US leader`s claim that the group had been defeated.

9. Turkey sends military reinforcements to Syrian border

• Turkey has sent military reinforcements to its border with Syria, after Ankara and Washington agreed to coordinate closely during the U.S. withdrawal from Syria.
• A batch of Turkish military convoy, including howitzers and artillery batteries, arrived in border areas of southeastern Kilis Province. Meanwhile, in northern Syria, Turkish-backed militia Free Syria Army (FSA) were deployed to areas near the Kurdish-held town of Manbij, Anadolu said.
• Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump on Sunday talked on phone and agreed to ensure diplomatic and military coordination to prevent an authority vacuum following the U.S. withdrawal from Syria.
• Erdogan warned on Dec. 12 that Turkey would in a few days launch a military operation in the east of Euphrates in Syria to clear terror groups there, but later postponed his move after Trump unexpectedly announced to withdraw its troops from Syria.

10. Iran seeking to ‘build a force of 100,000 ground troops’ in Syria: IDF Chief

• Late last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirmed the Jewish state’s commitment to counter Iran in Syria despite Washington’s recent announcement to withdraw US troops from the Arab country.
• In the past four years, the Israeli army has mainly focused on preventing Iran’s “entrenchment in Syria”, according to outgoing Israel Defence Forces (IDF) chief Gadi Eisenkot. He is due to wrap up his four-year tenure next month.
• Eisenkot claimed that Tehran’s alleged plan on its permanent military presence in Syria had been endorsed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force.
• “The Iranian vision for Syria for the day after [the war]… was to build a force of 100,000 ground troops. There are already 20,000 fighters from Hezbollah, Shiite militias from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and thousands of advisers from Iran”, Eisenkot said.
• He argued that Iran wants to create a “combined ground, aerial, naval and intelligence capability” in order to build up a “line of military positions along the Golan [border]”.

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Shahzad Faisal Malik is the administrator of and is responsible for managing the content, design, and overall direction of the blog. He has a strong background in Competitive Exams and is passionate and sharing information with others.
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