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When some 146 world leaders gather at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week, they are expected to discuss issues of international peace and security as several conflicts from Syria to Yemen rage on, defying any resolution.
The Pakistani delegation will be led by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi who arrives in New York, which houses the UN headquarters, from Washington on September 23, 2018 night. It will be the new Pakistani government`s first senior level interaction with the United Nations.
However, the much-heralded India-Pakistan foreign ministers` meeting was called off by New Delhi citing an incident in occupied Kashmir.
A busy programme awaits the foreign minister who will attend at least 40 events and hold about two dozen bilateral meetings.
The highlight of his visit will, of course, be his speech in the General Assembly on Sept 29 in which he will set out the new government`s priorities and its position and policy on key international and regional issue including the situation in occupied Jammu and Kashmir, particularly in the light of UN Human Rights Council`s report which has cited India of violations. New Delhi bristles at the mention of occupied Kashmir and human rights violations there.
Pakistan`s foreign minister is expected to deliver his speech in Urdu language.
2. Another Golen Gol power unit linked to national grid
The Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has synchronised a second unit of the 108MW Golen Gol hydropower project and connected it to the national grid through the most crucial transmission line it laid from Chitral to Timergara.
The 180-kilometre-long Golen Gol Timergara transmission line passes through the most difficult mountainous terrain having extreme weather conditions. As many as 706 transmission towers, including 141 towers of 132kV and 565 towers of 220kV, have been erected on the snow-clad mountain peaks, including that of Lowari Top at the highest altitude of 10,312 feet. Transmission towers in Pakistan have never been erected at this altitude.
Since the first unit of the project had started power generation in January this year, providing electricity to Chitral, upper Chitral and Darosh more than their need, synchronisation of theproject`s second unit and evacuation of power through transmission line is big news for the nation. Soon the project`s third unit will also be synchronised
3. PNS Saif conducts joint drills with French, Moroccan ships
Pakistan Navy Ship Saif conducted joint drills with the French and Moroccan ships at conclusion of its visit to port of Casablanca in Morocco.
The purpose of the exercise was to enhance maritime manoeuvres, operational capacities and skills with navies of friendly countries.
The ship was received upon arrival at Port Casablanca by Moroccan Navy Liaison Officer and officials from Embassy of Pakistan in Rabat.
Rear Admiral Moazzam Ilyas, the Commander Coast (COMCOAST) represented Pak Navy during official engagements on the occasion of ship’s port call.
4. US active to defuse Pak-India tension
The United States is active to defuse Pak-India tension after the nuclear armed neighbours entered a new wave of verbal war.
The two countries were on course to break the ice on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York but the foreign minister-level talks were called off by India after initially agreeing to the bilateral meeting.
The US had appreciated Pakistan’s efforts for revival of Pak-India dialogue and had urged Pakistan to work with India to reduce tension.
The US has promised to play its role to bring the two countries to the table. Washington referred to its statement after Pakistan and India had promised to hold bilateral talks (on the sidelines of the UNGA).
The US is supporting Pak-US dialogue process and has shown concern over India’s decision (to call off the talks). The US is still tilted towards India but they are acknowledging Pakistan efforts. They are trying to revive our (Pak-India) dialogue.
September 24, 2018: International Current Affairs
5. India launches world`s biggest health scheme
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 23, 2018 launched the world`s biggest health insurance scheme, promising free coverage for half a billion of India`s poorest citizens ahead of national elections next year.
The bottom 40 per cent of India`s 1.25 billion people will be covered under the flagship programme, dubbed `Modicare`, unveiled in the federal budget earlier this year.
The 100 million lowest-income families will be provided 500,000 rupees ($6,900) a sizeable sum in India in annual health insurance to treat serious ailments. The scheme is expected to cost the central and 29 state governments $1.6 billion per year in total. Funding will be increased gradually according to demand.
India`s overburdened public health system is plagued by a shortage of facilities and doctors and most people use private clinics and hospitals if they can afford to.
But a private consultation can cost 1,000 rupees ($15), a huge sum for millions living on less than $2 a day. More than 60 per cent of the average family`s spending goes on medicines and healthcare, the government estimates. Many of the poorest just go without care.
A report published this month by The Lancet medical journal found substandard healthcare was responsible for an estimated 1.6 million deaths a year in India the highest anywhere in the world. Critics have questioned how the government plans to fund such an enormous safety net, and suggested it was little more than a sop ahead of elections next May.
6. World leaders at UN look for progress on N. Korea, brace for Trump
North Korea and Iran will dominate this week`s gathering of world leaders at the United Nations, where President Donald Trump will be firmly in the spotlight as he continues to upend global diplomacy.
After warming up to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and ditching the Iran nuclear deal, the unpredictable Trump takes the podium on Tuesday to face foes and increasingly uneasy allies at the UN General Assembly.
He will for the first time chair a Security Council meeting on non-proliferation and weapons of mass destruction that will focus heavily on Iran likely triggering a clash with other big powers.
The diplomatic gathering will take stock of the thaw in relations between North and South Korea, and groundbreaking US-North Korea moves to address the threat from Pyongyang`s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
7. Russia blames Israel for downing of plane by Syrian forces
Russia`s military on September 23, 2018 blamed `misleading` information from the Israeli airforce for the downing of one of its planes in Syria last week, and denounced the `adventurism` of Israeli pilots.
Israel strongly disputed the assertion and vowed it will continue to act against Iranian targets in neighbouring Syria.
A Syrian air defence missile downed the Russian IlyushinIl-20 military plane on September 17, killing all 15 soldiers aboard and threatening to damage relations between Russia and Israel, which three years ago set up a hotline to avoid accidental clashes in Syria.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to seek to move past the incident in spite of strong statements from the Russian military.
Moscow has accused Israel`s fighter pilots of using the bigger Ilyushin as cover, causing Syria`s Soviet-era S-200 air defence system to interpret the Russian plane as a target.
8. Noted Indian director of women-centric films passes away
DIRECTOR Kalpana Lajmi, known for her distinctive women-centric films such as Rudaali and Ek Pal, passed away at a Mumbai hospital on September 23, 2018 morning. She was 64.
She was suffering from chronic kidney disease and liver failure. She was on dialysis and in and out of hospital for three years.
Lajmi also assisted Assamese cultural icon Bhupen Hazarika striking a creative collaboration with him. He composed music for most of her films.
Benegal said,“ She was a very fine film-maker. She went through a long period of illness. She was much young to go.”
September 24, 2018: Sports Current Affairs
9. Rohit, Dhawan crush Pakistan in Asia Cup
Openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan hit punishing centuries to steer an imperious India to a nine-wicket win over a listless Pakistan in the Asia Cup match in Dubai on September 23, 2018.
Sharma notched a 119-ball 111 not out for his 19th one-day hundred while Dhawan made a 100-ball 114 for his eighth century as the pair put on 210 for the opening stand — second best in all India-Pakistan one-day internationals.
That super effort from the openers saw India overhaul the target with 10.3 overs to spare. The Super four win is the second for India over their arch-rivals following their easy eighth wicket win in the first round.
The win is India’s highest against Pakistan in terms of wickets, improving on the eight wicket win over Pakistan in Melbourne in 1985.
10. Bangladesh beat Afghanistan by three runs
Bangladesh beat Afghanistan by three runs in a last ball finish in Abu Dhabi which meant India sailed into the September 28 final in Dubai.
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