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June 08, 2019: National Current Affairs
1. Three officers, soldier martyred in North Waziristan IED attack
• Three army officers and a soldier were martyred and four others injured when a roadside improvised explosive device struck their vehicle near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in North Waziristan tribal district on June 9, 2019.
• The officers and soldiers of the Quick Response Force were on routine patrol in the Doga Macha Madakhel area of Dattakhel tehsil at around 5.30pm when the IED went off, badly damaging the vehicle of the security forces.
• According to a statement of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), a lieutenant colonel, a major, a captain and a lance havaldar were martyred, while four other personnel suffered injuries.
• The martyrs were identified as Lt Col Rashid Kareem Baig, resident of Karimabad, Hunza, Major Moeez Maqsood from Karachi, Capt Arifullah from Lakki Marwat and Lance Havaldar Zaheer Ahmad from Chakwal. The injured sepoys were identified as Amjad, Aslam, Arif and Sakhawat.
• Curfew was also imposed in the area.
2. Education dept bans inter-district transfer of teachers in KP
• The elementary and secondary education department has banned the transfer of teachers from one district to another.
• `The district cadre positions shall be nontransferable as it (such transfers) defeats the entire purpose of merit,` declared the `Posting Transfer Policy of Education Officers at District Level`.
• The district cadre teachers included class teachers, primary school teachers, Arabic teachers, theology teachers and drawing teachers.
• Residents of the provincial capital were the main victim of the inter-district transfer of such teachers. The official said after appointment in their respective districts, such teachers managed to get themselves transferred to Peshawar using political influence, so the positions meant for Peshawarites were occupied by non-locals.
3. Pakistan`s fiscal consolidation measures to revive economic growth: WB
• Pakistan is on the path of consolidation to tackle sizeable fiscal and current account deficits but the imbalances are expected to diminish slowly, said the World Bank on June 7, 2019.
• The bank estimates the country`s GDP growth rate to reach 2.7 per cent in 2019-20.
• However, the consolidation measures, coupled with other macroeconomic improvements, are likely to lead to an increase in the economic growth to 4pc in the beginning in fiscal year 2020-21, adds the World Bank report titled `Global Economic Prospects: Heightened Tensions, Subdued Investment` The bank also noted that the improvement in source countries is expected to increase workers` remittances in the upcoming fiscal year which is likely to boost growth performance and the current account balances.
• Inward remittances have seen significant growth in the ongoing fiscal year increasing by 8.43pc to $17.87 billion compared to $16.48bn during the first 10 months of the last fiscal year.
• Moreover, Pakistan`s National Economic Council the high-powered decision making body on economic affairs has also set a target of 4pc GDP growth for the next fiscal year.
4. Pakistan, India open one air route
• One of the 11 air routes between Pakistan and India has been opened on June 6, 2019, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said in its statement.
• The aerial route at Taum was opened by Pakistan in March, after tense situation on borders, and Indian opened the route on June 2.
• Pakistan opened a route for west-bound flights around 5pm on Thursday. The impact of this announcement is yet to be assessed.
• The route that has been opened passes from near Mumbai and enters southern Pakistan. This is only one of the 11 exit and entry points between India and Pakistan.
5. Eminent writer, actor Enver Sajjad passes away
• Eminent short story writer, novelist and actor Dr Enver Sajjad was laid to rest on June 7, 2019. He passed away after a long illness at his Raiwind residence on June 6, 2019. He was 84.
• Dr Sajjad, who was also an actor, dancer and painter, was one of the progressive writers and received accolades throughout his life from other well-known writers.
• He was arguably a polymath and a Renaissance man. His works in fiction including Chauraha, Janarn Roop, Khushiyon Ka Bagh, Neeli Notebook, Talash-i-Wajood, Zard Konpal, Rassi Ki Zanjeer, Nigar Khana Saba and Sarnandar were regarded as modern short stories. He was known in Pakistan and India as the leading light of short story writing, but was also credited with introducing abstract writing style in Urdu short stories.
June 8, 2019: International Current Affairs
6. US hits Iran petrochemical group with sanctions
• The United States has hit Iran`s petrochemical group PGPIC with economic sanctions due to its ties with the country`s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), the Treasury Department announced on June 7, 2019.
• The move aims to choke off financing to the country`s largest and most profitable petrochemical group and extends to its 39 subsidiaries and `foreign-based sales agents,` Treasury said in a statement.
• Those include UK-based NPC International and Philippines-based and NPC Alliance Corporation that are controlled by PGPIC.
• `This action is a warning that we will continue to target holding groups and companies in the petrochemical sector and elsewhere that provide financial lifelines to the IRGC,` Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.
7. Estonia, Vietnam among five elected to UN Security Council
• Estonia, Niger, Tunisia, Vietnam and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines were elected to the UN Security Council on June 7, 2019 as the top UN body struggles to agree on how to confront global conflicts.
• The five newcomers will join the council in January for a two-year stint, replacing Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kuwait, Polandand Peru.
• Five countries Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States have a permanent seat on the 15-member council and enjoy veto power over any decisions. The 10 other non permanent members are elected for two-year terms to serve on the UN`s most powerful body, tasked with addressing threats to international peace and security.
8. Greece`s first state-sponsored mosque may open m September
• Greece`s education and religion minister says the country`s long delayed first state-sponsored mosque is likely to begin operating in September, about three years after its construction was approved by parliament.
• Kostas Gavroglou spoke on June 7, 2019 during a visit to the nearly complete mosque on the outskirts of Athens` city centre, accompanied by representatives of the Muslim community. Its construction has been controversial, with some opposing a mosque in the Greek capital.
• The mosque, approved by lawmakers in August 2016 and built in a mainly industrial area of the capital, will provide an official place of worship for the country`s Muslim immigrant community and for visitors. Tens of thousands of Muslim migrants live in the greater Athens area, and have been using informal prayer rooms in basements and disused stores.
9. Venezuela’s ‘staggering’ exodus reaches 4 million, UN refugee agency says
• More than 4 million Venezuelans have now fled economic and humanitarian chaos in what the UN’s refugee agency called a “staggering” exodus that has swelled by 1 million people since last November alone.
• The number of Venezuelan migrants and refugees stood at about 695,000 at the end of 2015, the UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) announced on Friday. Three and a half years later – with Venezuela immersed in a seemingly intractable social and political crisis – that number has “skyrocketed” to more than 4 million, the groups said.
• About half of that total have sought shelter in two South American countries – Colombia and Peru – which host about 1.3 million and 768,000 respectively. Many others have made for Chile (288,000), Ecuador (263,000), Brazil (168,000) and Argentina (130,000).
10. About 115 million ‘child grooms’ married before age of 15: UN
• An estimated 115 million boys and men around the world were married as children, 23 million of them before the age of 15, according to the first-ever analysis on ‘child grooms,’ launched on June 7, 2019 by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Using data from 82 countries, the in-depth study brings the overall number estimated child marriages to 765 million, UNICEF said.
• “Marriage steals childhood”, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said. “Child grooms are forced to take on adult responsibilities for which they may not be ready”. The study discovered that child marriage among boys spans sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific.
• According to the data, 28 per cent of the males in the Central African Republic were married as children, ranking it first in male child marriages. At 19 per cent, Nicaragua was the second and Madagascar the third, at 13 per cent.