September 2018

Day by Day Current Affairs (September 5, 2018) | MCQs for CSS, PMS, NTS


 September 5, 2018: National Current Affairs

1. Arifur Rehman Alvi elected Pakistan’s 13th president

  • Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf candidate Arifur Rehman Alvi September 4, 2018 was elected 13th President of Pakistan, securing 353 electoral votes, as the members of the Senate, National Assembly and the provincial assemblies cast their votes.
  • Three candidates, Arif Alvi, Fazlur Rehman and Aitzaz Ahsan, were in the run for the presidency. Alvi secured overall 353 electoral votes while JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman, with the support of opposition parties sans PPP-P, secured 185 votes and PPP candidate Aitzaz Ahsan bagged 124 votes, say the provisional results of the presidential election.
  • The newly-elected President will take oath of his office on September 9 after the expiry of the five-year term of incumbent President Mamnoon Hussain.
  • According to the ECP’s results, total voters in the presidential election were 1,174 while 52 seats were vacant as their results were withheld or members-elect had not taken oath in the Senate and the assemblies. The remaining 1,122 voters were supposed to exercise their right to vote.
  • According to the results received from all the presiding officers, the number of voters who actually exercised their right to vote was 1,110 while 27 votes were declared invalid by the respective presiding officers. Thus the total number of valid cast votes was 1,083.
  • Of the 430 votes cast in both the houses of the parliament (the National Assembly and the Senate), PTI’s nominee received 212 votes, JUI-F’s Rehman secured 131 and PPP-P’s Aitzaz Ahsan got 81. Six votes were rejected for being invalid.

2. Taliban announce death of Haqqani network founder

  • Jalaluddin Haqqani, a one-time CIA asset who went on to found a brutal militant group that is now a top US target in South Asia, has died after a long illness, the Afghan Taliban announced September 4, 2018.
  • Jalaluddin, whose eponymous Haqqani network is known for its heavy use of suicide bombers against Afghan civilians, security forces, and US-led NATO troops, was a key figure in entrenching jihad in the conflict-ridden region over the past 40 years.
  • His group is at the heart of regional tensions, with Washington and Kabul long suspecting the Haqqanis of having links to Pakistan’s military establishment.
  • Jalaluddin, believed to have been born in Afghanistan before migrating to Pakistan’s tribal areas, first came to prominence as an Afghan mujahideen commander fighting the Soviet occupation in the 1980s with the help of the United States and Pakistan.
  • Known for his organisation, courage and entrepreneurial skills, Jalaluddin was nicknamed “kabari”, Pashto for scrap metal dealer, for reselling parts of tanks that had been destroyed on the battlefield.
  • He became a CIA asset and received a personal visit from US congressman Charlie Wilson, who helped secure arms for the mujahideen.
  • He became a minister in the Taliban regime which took power in Afghanistan in 1996 – one of the only major mujahideen leaders to join the group – and was close to its late founder Mullah Omar.
  • But after the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 toppled the regime, he pulled back from the public eye, making only a handful of appearances in later years as the fearsome reputation of the Haqqani network began to grow.
  • The group, designated a terrorist organisation by the US in 2012, has been blamed for spectacular attacks across Afghanistan since the Taliban, and is one of the most merciless and effective groups operating in the region.
  • The Haqqanis were described by US Admiral Mike Mullen in 2011 as a “veritable arm” of Pakistani intelligence.
  • Washington has long pressured Islamabad to crack down on the group, and recently cancelled assistance worth hundreds of millions over Pakistan’s lack of “decisive” action against militants.
  • Islamabad has repeatedly denied it is sheltering militants on its soil.

3. Pompeo due today amid chill in Pak-US ties

  • US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is reaching Islamabad on September 5, 2018 to meet officials of the new government in Pakistan, but his brief stay in the capital, analysts fear, could be tense.
  • It would be the first high level visit from Washington since the new government assumed office. Secretary Pompeo would be accompanied by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Joseph Dunford.
  • The trip, which has been preceded by a public spat over the State Department readout of Mr Pompeo`s phone conversation with Prime Minister Imran Khan and the US announcement about ending Coalition Support Fund (CSF) reimbursements, is taking place at a very tense time in the Pakistan-US relationship.
  • The bilateral relationship has been on the downslide for years now and the slide has been accelerating with the passage of time, but the positivity shown by the PTI government, which as compared to other political parties had a tough position on the ties with the US, created hopes of progress in ties. Those hopes were boosted by the growing realisation in Washington that its Afghanistan policy announced last year was not working and that they will have to engage with the Taliban for a political settlement of the conflict in Afghanistan.
  • But those hopes were shattered by the readout row and the end to CSF programme.

4. PM okays 46pc rise in gas tariff

  • Prime Minister Imran Khan on September 4, 2018 gave a go-ahead for increasing natural gas rates by an average of 46 per cent as determined by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) in June and ordered steps to control annual gas theft of Rs50 billion.
  • Presiding over a briefing on gas sector, the prime minister asked the petroleum division to get it approved from the forum concerned and clear the backlog of issues which have piled up when he was explained about the need for gas tariff increase.
  • Current Minister for Petroleum: Ghulam Sarwar Khan
  • Current Finance Minister Asad Umar

5. Babar Awan resigns as PM`s adviser

  • A few hours after the filing of a corruption reference against Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for his alleged involvement in inordinate delay in construction of the 525MW Nandipur power plant, he resigned from his office on September 4, 2018.
  • `Fulfilling Imran Khan`s promise to the nation, I tender my resignation from the office of prime minister`s adviser on parliamentary affairs,` Mr Awan stated in a handwritten resignation in Urdu which he submitted to Prime Minister Imran Khan.
  • Mr Awan, who became a member of the prime minister`s cabinet just 16 days ago (Aug 20), said that although he had (only) been accused of causing delay in execution of the power project, even then he did not want to stick to his position.

6. PM forms energy, privatisation, CPEC committees

  • Prime Minister Imran Khan on September 4, 2018 constituted Committees for privatisation, energy and China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
  • According to a notification issued in this regard, Imran Khan has created a six-member Energy Committee which will be headed by Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan.
  • Finance Minister Asad Umar, Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid, Abdul Razzaq Dawood who is the Adviser to PM on Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production and Investment, PM’s Minister for Planning and Development Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar and the Secretary Cabinet division will be part of the Energy Committee.
  • Further, as per the notification, the seven-member Privatisation Committee will be headed by the Finance Minister and will include Minister of Law and Justice Muhammad Farogh Naseem,
  • Adviser to PM on Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr Ishrat Husain, Abdul Razzaq Dawood and Khusro Bakhtiar. The CPEC Committee will be headed by Bakhtiar and will comprise of nine members.
  • Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister of Law and Justice Farogh Naseem, Finance Minister Umar, Minister of Petroleum Division Sarwar, Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid and PM’s Adviser on Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production and Investment will make up the Committee.
  • Moreover, the Secretary of the Cabinet division will also be part of the Committee formed by the govt

September 5, 2018: International Current Affairs

7. Spain cancels bomb sale to Saudi Arabia amid Yemen concerns

  • Spain said on September 4, 2018 it has canceled the delivery of 400 laser guided bombs purchased by Saudi Arabia, amid fears that the weapons could be used against Iran-aligned Houthi rebels in Yemen.
  • The arms deal was originally signed in 2015 under Spain`s former conservative government, but the new centreleft administration of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez plans to return the 9.2 million euros ($10.6 million) already paid by the Saudis.

8. Special status given to India undermining regional stability: think tank

  • The Strategic Trade Authorisation-1 (STA-1) status given to India by the United States is undermining regional stability and the global non-proliferation regime, warned a think tank on September 4, 2018.
  • The Strategic Vision Institute (SVI), which specialises in strategic stability issues, said in a press release: `The US tilt towards India for its geopolitical goals, including containment of China, marked a paradigm shift in the American non-proliferation policy.
  • The US Department of Commerce had on July 30 granted STA-1 status to India.
  • This allows licence exceptions for export of certain critical dual-use, defence-related and military technologies to India from the US. The US move had preceded the initiation of India-US 2+2 dialogue involving their foreign and defence ministers for which Secretary Mike Pompeowill visit Delhi after completing his Islamabad trip.

9. Australia mints its most valuable coin ever

  • Australia has minted a gold coin encrusted with rare pink diamonds worth Aus$2.48 million (US$1.8 million) to meet growing demand for high-end collectables from the ultra-rich.
  • The two-kilogramme treasure, which depicts a sailing ship, a gold prospector and boab trees found in Western Australia, is considered legal tender and will be sold to the highest bidder.
  • It is the most valuable coin ever made in Australia and is expected to be sold to a buyer from Asia or the Middle East.
  • The coin showcases rare pink stones handset in the most famed of precious metals, telling the inspirational rags to riches tales of mining for these prized resources.” Called “Discovery”, it was modelled after the “Holey Dollar”, one of Australia’s first coins, with a private collector paying Aus$495,000 for one of those in 2013.
  • A key attraction is the four pink diamonds from the renowned Argyle mine in Australia’s remote western Kimberley region, including a 1.02-carat emerald cut.

10. Jeff Bezos rockets to richest person on planet

  • As Amazon became the second US firm to hit a trillion-dollar value on the stock market, founder Jeff Bezos regained the crown as the richest person on the planet.
  • Amazon’s share price has climbed during the year, lifting the personal wealth of the company’s 54-year-old founder with it. Forbes estimated his net worth about $166 billion.
  • He has gone on record with a formula for success that includes taking bold bets, riding change and rebounding from setbacks.

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