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October 27, 2018: National Current Affairs
1. CPEC not adding to Pakistan`s economic woes: China
• Rejecting the perception that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is adding to Pakistan`s economic problems, Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing said on October 26, 2018 that his country would positively look at critical questions being raised about the project.
• It was China`s responsibility to make people better understand the CPEC.
• The CPEC is a broader initiative. China does not have any unilateral interest in it. It is mutually beneficial for both countries,` Mr Yao said.
• China and Pakistan have been pursuing the multibillion dollar CPEC project since 2015 that involves connectivity and infrastructure projects. Lately there have been concerns about the transparency of the project and that the CPEC was adding to Pakistan`s debt burden.
• The ambassador said the economic corridor project was a demonstration of Chinese trust in Pakistan and its better future.
2. Army should only be deployed outside polling stations: EU mission
• The European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM) has called for limiting the presence of security personnel to outside polling stations and guaranteeing civilian ownership of the conduct of elections.
• Unveiling the EUEOM final report at a press conference on October 26, 2018, the chief observer of the mission and member of European Parliament, Michael Gahler, said that the mission observed undue presence of military inside the polling stations and stressed that `elections are a civilian exercise`.
• The report said that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had asked the army to provide security for the distribution of election material and allowed their deployment inside as well as outside polling stations. There were 370,000 army personnel deployed on election day including many from the reserves as compared to 70,000 in 2013. In addition to the army, 450,000 police officers were deployed, it added.
• `The code of conduct for security officials issued by the ECP on July 6 increased the powers and role of security personnel posted inside and outside of polling stations, including the provision of a parallel structure to report irregularities if the presiding officer did not take action, thus negating the civilian ownership of the electoral process. While a secure environment for voters, candidates and polling staff is essential, the deployment of large numbers of soldiers, and their presence inside polling stations with expanded powers, can result in voter intimidation,` the report stated.
3. Navy to defend Gwadar against threats, says Adm Abbasi
• Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi on October 26, 2018 visited naval units and installations along the Makran coast to witness operational readiness of the troops during the ongoing Maritime Exercise SEASPARK 2018.
• Upon arrival at the headquarters of COMWEST in Gwadar, the naval chief was received by Coast Commander Rear Admiral Moazzam llyas and Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff (Operations) Rear Admiral Faisal Rasul Lodhi, said a press release issued by the navy`s Directorate of Public Relations.
• A comprehensive presentation was made on the occasion on operational deployment of assets along the country`s west coast to maintain coastal security and harbour defence and ground based air defence of the designated areas.
4. Asma wins UN human rights prize
• The late Asma Jahangir, a renowned human rights defender in Pakistan, was named on October 26, 2018 by the United Nations as one of the winners of the 2018 UN Human Rights Prize.
• Others who share the award include Tanzanian activist Rebeca Gyumi, Brazilian activist Joênia Wapichana and a human rights organisation, Front Line Defenders.
• The `United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights` is an honorary award given for outstanding achievement in human rights, the UN said.
• The award ceremony will be held in New York on Dec 10 on the World Human Rights Day.
• Born in Lahore in January 1952, Ms Jahangir was the first woman to have served as president of the Supreme Court Bar Association. She was also the United Nations` Rapporteur for Human Rights and a former chief of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP).
• In a note of recognition, the UN said Ms Jahangir was known for speaking up against human rights violations and she was a staunch supporter of democracy.
5. KP Assembly passes Rs23bn supplementary budget
• The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on October 26, 2018 passed the Rs23.7 billion supplementary budget for financial year 2017-18 amid division between the treasury and opposition benches over the legality of the financial statement.
• Opposition members challenged the constitutional status of the supplementary budget before the approval of demand for grants for different departments.
• Deputy Speaker Mahmood Jan chaired the sitting.
• The budget was passed after the opposition withdrew cut motions.
• Finance minister Taimur Jhagra in his concluding remarks assured the house that the province`s financial rights would be protected.
October 27, 2018: International Current Affairs
6. Singer Sinead O`Connor converts to Islam
• Outspoken Irish singer Sinead O`Connor has announced she has converted to Islam and changed her name to Shuhada.
• Having adopted the name Magda Davitt last year, the 51-year-old is now called Shuhada Davitt.
• She also changed her Twitter avatar to a black-and-white image of the Nike Swoosh logo and the slogan: `Wear a hijab. Just do it.` `This is to announce that I am proud to have become a Muslim. This is the natural conclusion of any intelligent theologian`s journey,` she tweeted.
• `All scripture study leads to Islam. Which makes all other scriptures redundant. I will be given (another) new name. It will be Shuhada.` Her Twitter account says the singer now lives in `Direland`.
• O`Connor`s 1990 hit `Nothing Compares 2 U` became a global hit, with her haunting voice, shaved head and single-tone outfits turning her into both an enigmatic and captivating figure.
7. Israel PM makes secret Oman visit
• Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made the first visit to Oman by an Israeli premier in over 20 years, officials said on October 26, 2018, in an apparent sign of growing regional ties.
• The surprise meeting with Oman`s Sultan Qaboos late on October 25, 2018, which was kept secret until Netanyahu`s return home, comes despite the two nations having no diplomatic ties.
• The trip is a major coup for Netanyahu, who has said he wants to bolster ties with the Arab world despite a stalemate on the Palestinian front.
• Netanyahu and Sultan Qaboos discussed the Middle East peace process `and other issues of shared interest`, the Israeli premier`s office said in a statement.
• Netanyahu was accompanied by his wife Sara and his delegation included Mossad intelligence chief Yossi Cohen and National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat.
8. 182 journalists killed in 2016-17: Unesco report
• The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in its new report recorded the killing of 182 journalists in 2016-17 a slight decrease in the number of fatalities compared to the previous two-year period.
• However, compared to earlier periods 2007 to 2011 numbers remain elevated, according to the 2018 Director-General Report on the Safety of Journalists, released for the `International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists` to be observed on Nov 2.
• In 2017, the largest number of fatal attacks (27 killings) took place in Asia and the Pacific region, representing 34 per cent of the total, followed by Latin America and the Caribbean with 28pc (22 killings). In the Arab states region, UNESCO documented 18 killings, represenung 22pc of killings of journalists registered worldwide.
• Overall, it noted, the number of killings in 2016-17 was lower than that in the previous two-year period, when 213 killings were recorded. However, this trend did not appear to be confirmed in 2018, with 80 killings already condemned by the UNESCO director general as of Oct 9 this year.
• Pakistan did not submit information on specific cases of killings of journalists, but did submit detailed information on concrete measures targeted at improving safety of journalists and combating impunity, the report said.
October 27, 2018: Sports Current Affairs
9. Pakistan win T20 series against Australia
• Pakistan survived an onslaught by big hitter Glenn Maxwell to win the second Twenty20 international by 11 runs in a last over finish against Australia in Dubai on October 26, 2018.
• Maxwell hit a chancy 37-ball 52 with four boundaries and a six but could not score the 23 runs required in the final over as Australia chasing 148 to win ended up at 136-8 in their 20 overs at Dubai stadium.
• Pakistan were lifted to 147-6 by Babar Azam (45) and Mohammad Hafeez (40) after Sarfaraz Ahmed won the toss and opted tobat.
• Pakistan won the first match by 66 runs in Abu Dhabi. The third and final match will be played in Dubai on October 28, 2018.
• The victory is Sarfaraz`s 10th T20 series win since taking over as captain in September 2016, including a tri-series win in Zimbabwe in July this year.
• That highlights Pakistan`s number one ranking in the shortest format as they beat Australia for a second match running.
10. PCB forms seven-member cricket committee
• The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), while forming a seven-member advisory cricket committee on October 26, 2018 comprising former cricketers, termed the Justice Qayyum Report on match-fixing as an `inconclusive` document.
• The committee comprises ex-Test batsman Mohsin Khan who will head the body, former captains Wasim Akram and Misbah-ul-Haq, Director Academies Mudassar Nazar, Director Domestic Cricket Haroon Rasheed and Director International Zakir Khan besides former Pakistan women`s team captain Urooj Mumtaz.
• Zakir, who is also a close friend of Prime Minister Imran Khan and has returned to the PCB ranks with the induction of the new government, will act as secretary of the committee.
• PCB chairman Ehsan Mani, flanked by the committee members, addressed a press conference along with COO Subhan Ahmed to give the details about the working of the body. However, when asked how the committee was featuring player (s) named in Justice Qayyum Report on Match-fixing (an obvious reference to Wasim), Mani said: `How many people have read the Justice Qayum Report? It is inconclusive as the Justice himself has said that he will give details in another report which has not come out as yet.