February 2019

Day by Day Current Affairs (February 23, 2019) | MCQs for CSS, PMS

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February 23, 2019: National Current Affairs

1. Army chief warns India against `misadventure`

• Army chief Gen Qamar Bajwa, during a visit to the Line of Control (LoC) on February 22, 2019, warned India against aggression, saying any misadventure would receive resolute response from his troops.
• Gen Bajwa visited the LoC to review the state of preparedness and morale of the troops, a day after the National Security Committee authorised the armed forces to respond to any Indian aggression with full force. The top commander`s visit signaled the highest level of preparedness to the adversary.
• War hysteria in India in the aftermath of last week`s attack on Indian security forces in occupied Kashmir`s Pulwama area has led to fears that India may undertake military action to deflect public attention from internal problem s.
• Speaking to the troops on the frontlines in Chirikot and Bagsar sectors, Gen Bajwa said: `Pakistan is a peace-loving country but we will not be intimidated or coerced. Any aggression or misadventure shall be paid back in same coin`.

2. FATF to keep working with Pakistan on terror financing

• Noting `limited progress` on January 2019 milestones, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has expressed concern over Pakistan`s inability to demonstrate understanding of terror financing risks posed by seven proscribed organisations and elements linked to Taliban.
• The Paris-based global watch-dog against international financial crimes also urged `Pakistan to swiftly complete its action plan, particularly those with timelines of May 2019`.
• The FATF plenary session and meetings of its various groups were held from Feb 18 to 22 to review performance of 14 countries having strategic deficiencies in their systems to counter money laundering and terror financing.
• The FATF expressed grave concern and condemned the violent terrorist attack last week that killed at least 40 Indian security personnel in Pulwama in India held Jammu and Kashmir and noted that similar actions in many other countries proved that terrorism continued to threaten societies and citizens around the world.

3. Pakistan warned against deadly wheat pest

• The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) has cautioned Pakistan to take steps to protect its crops from the `fall armyworm` (FAW), a devastating pest that has been identified for the first time on the Indian subcontinent.
• Director-General, CIMMYT, Dr Martin Kropff, now visiting Pakistan, held a meeting with Minister for National Food Security and Research Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan on Thursday and offered cooperation of the Mexico-based organisation in tackling the prevalent threat of FAW in Pakistan.
• Native to the Americas, the pest is known to eat over 80 plant species, with a particular preference for maize, a main staple crop around the world.

February 23, 2019: International Current Affairs

4. UNSC urges all states to help India probe Pulwama attack

• The United Nations Security Council has urged all states to `cooperate actively` with New Delhi for bringing to justice all those who were responsible for last week`s attack on soldiers in Pulwama, India-held Kashmir.
• Security Council President Anatolio Ndong Mba issued a statement on February 21, 2019 condemning the attack and expressing solidarity with the Indian nation and the government. `The members of the Security Council underlined the need to hold the perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism accountable and bring them to justice,` said the statement.
• In Islamabad, the National Security Committee (NSC) decided on February 21, 2019 to proscribe the Jamaat ud Dawa and its charity wing, Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation, as part of measures to tighten the noose around extremist and militant groups in the country.

5. FATF chief criticised for failing to take action against Modi

• The Senate Standing Committee on Interior on February 22, 2019 criticised the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) president for refusing to take action against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a complaint lodged by the committee chairman, and asked why the international body was taking action against Pakistan.
• The committee, in a meeting held at the Parliament House and chaired by Senator Rehman Malik, condemned the announcement by India`s minister for water that his country would block water flow (of three rivers) to Pakistan.
• `The committee appeals to the World Bank to take notice of this blockade of water flow by India, which is a violation of the Indus Waters Treaty, signed in 1960,` a resolution adopted by the committee said.
• The Senate committee also approved another resolution rejecting India`s`baseless allegations and threats` against Pakistan after the Pulwama attack.

6. FATF gives Iran till June to comply with anti-money laundering rules

• Iran has until June to fix its anti-money laundering and terrorism financing rules or face increased international scrutiny of its banks, a global watchdog said on February 22, 2019.
• Foreign businesses say Iran`s compliance with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) rules is key if it wants to attract investors, especially after the United States re-imposed sanctions on Iran last year.
• France, Britain and Germany have tied Iran`s compliance and removal from the FATF blacklist to a new channel for non-dollar trade with Iran designed to avert US sanctions.
• Last October the Paris-based FATF gave Iran until February to complete reforms that would bring it into line with global norms, or face consequences. But at a meeting this week the watchdog concluded that Iran had not done so.
• Marshall Billings lea, US assistant Treasury Secretary for terrorist financing, who chaired the FATF meeting, said Iran had until June before countermeasures would automatically kick in.

7. S. Arabia strikes $10bn deal with China

• Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman cemented a $10 billion deal for a refining and petrochemical complex in China on February 22, 2019, after meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping.
• The Saudi delegation, including top executives from state owned oil company Saudi Aramco, arrived on February 21, 2019 on an Asia tour that has already seen the kingdom pledge investment of $20bn in Pakistan and seek to make additional investments in India`s refining industry.
• Saudi Arabia signed 35 economic cooperation agreements with China worth a total of $28bn at a joint investment forum during the visit, Saudi state news agency SPA said.
• `China is a good friend and partner to Saudi Arabia,` President Xi Jinping told the crown prince in front of reporters.
• `The special nature of our bilateral relationship renects the efforts you have made,` added Xi, who has made stepping up China`s presence in the Middle East a key foreign policy objective, despite its traditional low-key role there.

8. US, Russia seeking UN travel waivers for Taliban

• The United States and Russia have agreed to explore options for securing UN travel waivers for Taliban negotiators to participate in peace talks.
• US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad tweeted that the issue was discussed at a meeting he had with his Russian counterpart Zamir Kabulov in Ankara on Friday.
• `We agreed that all-inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue is essential to advance peace efforts,` he wrote. `We will explore options for securing UN travel waivers for Taliban negotiators to participate in peace talks.
• According to these tweets, the US and Russian peace envoys also agreed that to `move forward, Afghans should name a unified, inclusive & national negotiating team that includes the Afghan government and other Afghans.

February 23, 2019: Sports Current Affairs

9. De Villiers, Wiese keep Qalandars afloat in incredible finish

• Lahore Qalandars pulled off a miraculous win from the jaws of defeat in the HBL Pakistan Super League on February 22, 2019 while riding on the brilliance of A.B. de Villiers and David Wiese to get over the line in a last-ball thriller at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
• In a remarkable Match 10 that saw the magical figure of 200 twice being posted, the Qalandars stunned Multan Sultans by six wickets. De Villiers and Wiese came together when the Sultans had almost wrapped up the encounter after educing the Qalandars to106-4in the13thover.
• The target of 201 looked beyond the Qalandars when Brendan Taylor pulled up his hamstring in that same over.
• But de Villiers and Wiese were not giving in without a fight.
• And fight they did in a breathtaking period of play during they added 96 in mere 44 balls.

10. United bounce back to beat Zalmi

• For the second match running in the HBL Pakistan Super League on Friday, a struggling side bounced back to improve its playoff aspirations as holders Islamabad United defeated Peshawar Zalmi at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
• The architects behind United`s resurgence were Mohammad Musa Khan and Mohammad Sami, two pacemen at different stages of their cricketing career.
• The 18-year-old Musa marked his maiden appearance in the glitzy world of Twenty20 cricket with a magnificent return of three wickets for 25 runs.
• Sami, the former Pakistan player, put the icing on United`s cake with a hat-trick as an early birthday gift for himself. Sami turns 38 on Sunday.
• Wahab Riaz, who hanged an eight-ball 20 and had threatened to stop United moving up the ladder into third place, was nicely caught in the covers by Sahibzada Farhan. The decision needed the TV umpire`s help to make sure that the catch was taken.

Day by Day Current Affairs (February 23, 2019) | MCQs for CSS, PMS

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