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World in Focus (May-June 2015)

World in Focus - May June 2015

National, International News & MCQs

 NATIONAL

May 16: All cellular companies operating in the country completed biometric verification of Subscriber Identity Modules (SIMs).

May 16: According to the Human Capital Report 2015 issued by the World Economic Forum (WEF), Pakistan ranks at 113 out of 124 countries in the ‘Human Capital Index’ because of its poor performance on educational outcomes.

May 16: A new survey of rural Pakistan conducted by International Policy Research Institute (IPRI) revealed that rural Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with literacy rate of 78 percent in males and 39 percent in females is the most literate province in Pakistan followed by rural Punjab with 62 and 34 percent and rural Sindh 38 and 15 percent, respectively.

May 17: A massive fire killed six minor siblings in Shadbagh area of Lahore city.

May 18: “Axact,” the parent company of “Bol Media Group” was accused by The New York Times of selling fake diplomas and degrees online through “hundreds of fictitious schools” in the United States. The government launched investigations into the matter.

May 18: Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Afghan intelligence outfit National Directorate of Security (NDS) signed an accord for cooperation aimed at bolstering fight against terrorism.

May 18: A groundbreaking ceremony was organised by the Afghan Ministry of Public Works at Jalalabad for the construction of an additional carriageway along the Torkham-Jalalabad Road.

The 75km section, to be constructed by Pakistan’s Frontier Works Organisation (FWO), is part of the Grand Trunk Road which connects the two countries through Khyber Pass.

May 18: The Balochistan Urban Immovable Property Tax (Amendment) Bill 2015 was enforced into law with immediate effect.

May 19: The government got a bill passed with support from the PPP to levy a controversial gas tax.

May 19: The Government of Pakistan and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) signed a grant agreement for provision of 10 mobile clinics for rural areas. IDB President Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali signed the agreement with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

May 20: A joint investigation team (JIT) formed by the government of Punjab to investigate the Model Town incident of police firing on activists of Pakistan Awami Tehreek in June 2014 exonerated Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and former provincial law minister Rana Sanaullah from charges of ordering or abetting the police action.

May 20: The Senate converted itself into a committee for the first time in the country’s parliamentary history and discussed various proposals floated by members to improve the judicial system.

May 21: During Pakistani premier’s visit to the country, Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan agreed, in Bishkek, to strengthen relations in diverse areas including trade, economy, people-to-people contacts and tourism.

May 21: The Lahore high court gave a clean chit to Pakistan’s former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, who was fined seven million rupees and banned for five years by the PCB in 2008 for violating the players’ code of conduct.

May 21: The Sindh government appointed a home minister after almost three years by giving the charge to PPP MPA Suhail Anwar Sial.

May 22: The Lahore High Court dismissed as non-maintainable a petition filed 24 years ago seeking disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for alleged money laundering.

May 22: President Mamnoon Hussain approved the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) Bill-2015.

May 23: President Mamnoon Hussain removed Muhammad Akhtar Buland Rana from the office of Auditor General of Pakistan.

May 23: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan dissolved the elected bodies and office bearers and formed an interim set-up to run party affairs.

May 24: The Planning Commission of Pakistan raised a number of serious objections against the 27km Lahore Orange Line Metro Train — a brainchild of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif — worth over Rs165 billion, but could not secure any change in it before its approval.

May 25: Violent protests erupted in several cities of Punjab after the Daska police station SHO inspector Shahzad Warraich allegedly shot dead two lawyers, including the president of the local bar association.

May 25: Pakistan hosted the first of the three meetings of senior officials of the Heart of Asia Istanbul Process as a prelude to the Ministerial Conference scheduled for later this year.

May 26: The Milli Yakjehti Council (MYC) decided to monitor Friday sermons in mosques to limit clerics or prayer leaders to deliver speeches on the subject of morality and humanity alone as explained in the religion of Islam.

May 26: The elections of the heads of all the 40 standing, functional and special committees of the Senate were completed.

May 27: Accepting the PTI’s request, the inquiry commission investigating allegations of rigging in the 2013 general elections finally allowed the opening of sealed election bags for the retrieval of copies of the Form 15 from all polling stations for each constituency of all national as well as provincial assemblies.

May 27: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah cancelled more than half a million arms licences after the expiry of the May 19 deadline set for their verification.

May 27: The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) recommended that transgenders be made part of their families and given a share in inheritance. It also recommended the government ‘Khulaa’ be separated from ‘Tanseekh-e-Nikah’ (cancellation of marriage).
It recommended to the government to amend the Family Law of 1961 and the Dissolution of Marriage Act, 1939, envisaging an end to all means of dissolution of marriages which it considers are not allowed in Shariah.

May 28: Doubts expressed by the political leadership over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor were partially addressed by the government and an all-parties conference held at the Prime Minister’s Office gave a go-ahead to the project.

The remaining concerns will be addressed by a bipartisan/bicameral parliamentary committee which the government agreed to constitute for a regular oversight of the project.

May 28: Pakistan and Belarus vowed to build a broad-based, substantive and long-term relationship in all fields, including trade, economic, education, defence and culture.

This was pledged as Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko started his two-day visit to Pakistan.

May 28: The judge of the Accountability Court, Rawalpindi, Sohail Nasir, acquitted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and their other family members in the Ittefaq Foundries reference. The reference had been filed against the Sharifs during the Musharraf period in 2001.

May 28: The information and broadcasting ministry asked the country’s media regulatory body to block Bol TV transmissions until the investigation into the channel’s parent company Axact is complete.

May 29: Armed men kidnapped about two dozen passengers from two Karachi-bound coaches and killed at least 19 of them in Khad Kocha, a mountainous area in Mastung district.

May 29: The Lahore High Court declared as illegal the recovery of surcharges, like Equalisation Surcharge, Debt Servicing Surcharge, Universal Obligation Fund Surcharge and Neelum Jhelum Surcharge, under electricity bills and directed the federal government to refund the amount collected under the heads of surcharges.

May 29: Rana Sanaullah took oath as provincial law minister. He got back the ministry which he lost in June 2014 after the Model Town tragedy.

In addition, Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha, wife of known economist Dr Hafeez Pasha, took oath as provincial minister for finance.

May 29: The Kashmiri protesters in Indian-held Kashmir once again raised pro-Pakistan slogans and waved Pakistani flags in the valley-wide protest rallies.

May 29: Pakistan was elected vice chair of the executive board of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in its meeting held in Geneva.

The director general of health Dr Assad Hafeez was Pakistan’s nominee for the important slot.

May 30: The largest local government elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s history were held amid sporadic incidents of violence, mismanagement and complicated balloting.

May 30: The Supreme Court dismissed a plea seeking abolition of the death penalty in Pakistan on the grounds that miscarriage of justice is bound to happen in the presence of an ineffective and defective criminal justice system in the country.

May 30: According the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), conducted by the WHO, as many as 23.8 million adults currently use tobacco in Pakistan. Of them, 15.6 million smoke tobacco, and 9.6 million use smokeless tobacco products. Around 58.5 billion sticks are consumed in the country every year, which means smokers burn around Rs119 billion per year.

May 31: A PML-N member of Punjab Assembly, Rana Shamshad Ahmed Khan, along with his son, nephew and a friend, were killed in an attack in Kamoki area.

May 31: The police arrested the ANP’s central secretary general Mian Iftikhar Hussain after a teenaged worker of PTI was killed while celebrating victory of a party candidate at Pabbi.

May 31: The UAE’s budget carrier Air Arabia added Pakistani city of Quetta to its list of destinations, making it the Sharjah-based carrier’s seventh destination in Pakistan.

World in Focus May June 2015

June 01: Najam Sethi, who was the caretaker chief minister of Punjab during the 2013 elections, conceded before the poll inquiry commission that his powers as the chief executive of the province had started slipping away seven to 10 days before the May 11 elections.

June 01: The World Bank gave its go ahead to the Indus Ecoregion Community Livelihood project, being developed by WWF-Pakistan in Sindh to improve the livelihoods of local communities.

The project will focus on four priority sites: Keenjhar Lake in Thatta district, Chotiari reservoir in Sanghar district; Nara Canal and surrounding communities in Khairpur district; and Manchar Lake and surrounding communities in Jamshoro district.

The Indus region is the most prioritised of the five ecoregions in Pakistan, and is one of the 40 most significant ecoregions in the world.

June 02: Nearly a month after a men-only turnout in a by-election in PK-95 Dir sparked a nationwide controversy, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in a landmark verdict declared the polls void because of the disenfranchisement of women.

June 03: The seventh round of the US-Pakistan Security, Strategic Stability and Non-proliferation Working Group was held in Washington whereby Pakistan told US officials that access to peaceful nuclear technology was a socioeconomic priority for the energy-starved nation.

June 03: At the inaugural meeting of the Education, Science and Technology Working Group, set up under the US-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue, Pakistan’s Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal proposed US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor to boost cooperation between the two countries in education sector.

June 03: The Supreme Court suspended the decision of the election tribunal, Multan, and restored Rai Hasan Nawaz as MNA on his NA-162 seat (Sahiwal III), Chichawatni.

June 03: Ever since becoming a part of the US-led war against terror in 2001, Pakistan has suffered direct and indirect losses to the tune of over $107 billion.

June 03: The World Bank approved $125 million for Pakistan to support the restoration of resilient flood protection infrastructure and the strengthening of government capacity to manage disasters and climate variability.

June 03: Punjab government imposed 19.5 percent GST on internet and data usage services negating its own ambition of promotion of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) among public as well as business community to enhance IT footprint in the province.

June 03: In one of the most alarming pieces of macroeconomic data released by the government, the unemployment rate has risen to 8.3% during fiscal 2015, the highest level in 13 years.

June 04: In his address to a joint sitting of parliament marking the opening of the new parliamentary year, President Mamnoon Hussain called for a constant national vigilance against what he called a threat to use terrorism as a weapon against Pakistan, in remarks aimed at India.

June 04: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar launched the official report card Pakistan Economic Survey 2014-15 on second year performance of the PML-N government.

June 04: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the 23-kilometre metro bus project in the twin cities. Speaking at the ceremony, he said that the development currently taking place in the country was unacceptable to ‘the enemy’ and reiterated his government’s resolve to combat terrorism and the energy crisis to turn around the national economy.

June 05: Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar presented the Federal Budget 2015-16 with an outlay of Rs 4313 billion in the National Assembly.

June 05: COAS Gen Raheel Sharif reached Sri Lanka on a four-day visit.

The army chief is visiting the country on the invitation of his Sri Lankan counterpart, according to an Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR) statement.

June 07: The federal government asked heads of departments to implement a cabinet decision to gradually introduce Urdu as official language.

According to a circular, heads of government departments have also been asked to propose ways in which Urdu could take the place of English as the official language.

On May 14, the cabinet decided that Urdu would be the official language as per Article 251 of the Constitution.

June 07: The United Nations stripped two African NGOs of their UN “consultative status” on the request of Pakistan (a committee member) after “controversial” statements were made against the state of Pakistan using the platform of these NGOs.
Mehran Baloch, rights campaigner and Balochistan’s representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), often hosted events in Geneva through African Technology Development Link and the African Technical Association, but Pakistan complained to the UN’s Committee.

June 08: Elections for the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly were held. According to unofficial results the PML-N emerged as the most dominant party.

June 08: PPP Vice President Sherry Rehman returned unopposed as senator from Sindh.

June 08: The ruling PML-N won the NA-108 by-election by defeating PTI with a clear margin.

June 08: Ten newly-appointed additional judges of the Lahore High Court took oath of their offices for a period of one year. Chief Justice of LHC Manzoor Ahmad Malik administered the oath to them.

With the elevation of these judges, the number of judges at the LHC has reached its full strength of 60. Among them 29 are confirmed whereas 31 are additional judges.

June 09: Pakistan and Tajikistan vowed to work for early completion of a power project, CASA 1000, which will enable the former to import 1,000MW of electricity to meet its growing energy needs.

June 09: The Prime Minister Youth Skills Development Programme was extended to students of religious seminaries, juvenile prisoners and victims of terrorism.

June 09: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif slammed the Indian leadership for its recent irresponsible statements about Pakistan and asked the UN Secretary General to play proactive role in the resolution of Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions.

June 09: Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch inaugurated the Pak-Iran goods train, which would ply between Pakistani city of Quetta and Iranian city of Zahedan once a week.

June 10: A Senate committee approved the Seed Amendment Bill 2015 which the National Assembly has already passed.

June 10: The National Assembly (NA) passed a unanimous resolution urging the United Nations (UN) and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and international community to take notice of the brutalities being committed against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and expressed deep concern over the issue.

June 10: Pakistan and Tajikistan agreed to work closely on the important issue of reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

World in Focus May June 2015 1June 11: Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, claimed to have estimated more than Rs230 billion being generated annually from Karachiites through extortion, smuggling of Iranian diesel, water supply and land grabbing, mainly patronised by “a major political party”, and that part of that huge amount was also being used for “terror-funding”, a decade-old gang warfare in Lyari and criminal activities across the city.

June 11: The government of Punjab and the United Nations signed an MoU to establish partnership for the involvement of Pakistani youths in the UN campaigns for its seventieth anniversary.

June 12: The Punjab government proposed a record increase in allocations for the education sector to the tune of Rs310.20 billion which is around 27 per cent of the total financial outlay for the 2015-16 fiscal plan.

June 13: The Sindh government unveiled a Rs739.3 billion budget for 2015-16, having a deficit of Rs12.72bn and a development outlay of Rs214bn.

June 15: Pakistan won the first-ever order for its JF-17 Thunder jet fighter, as the revamped plane dazzled crowds at the Paris Air Show.

JF-17 is Pakistan’s first homemade jet, which has been designed with the help of China.
June 15: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Finance Minister Muzaffar Said presented a Rs487.88 billion budget for 2015-16 in the provincial assembly.

June 15: Azad Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Chaudhry Latif Akbar presented a Rs68 billion deficit but tax-free budget in the Legislative Assembly.

ECONOMY

May 20: The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for sharing classified information.

May 25: Business leaders of Pakistan and Belarus signed 12 contracts worth $42 million. The contracts were signed after meetings at the Pak-Belarus Business Forum organised by the Board of Investment.

May 26: JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited reaffirmed the medium- to long-term entity rating of the OGDCL for FY14 at ‘AAA’ and short-term entity rating at ‘A-1+’.

World in Focus May June 2015 3June 01: The Board of Investment (BoI) and Pak-Saudi Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PSJCCI) signed an MoU to encourage and facilitate bilateral investment between the two countries.

June 03: The SECP gave approval for Dolmen City REIT, the country’s first Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Fund.

The fund, sponsored by Arif Habib REIT Management Ltd, is a component of The Harbour Front office building complex and Dolmen City Mall.

June 15: Under the recently promulgated Securities Act 2015, insider trading has been declared a criminal offence.

The law vests powers in the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) to take steps for investor protection with the objective of fostering growth of the securities market.

 EDUCATION

May 17: The Punjab Higher Education Commission was officially launched at the Arfa Karim Software Technology Park, Lahore.

May 18: The National Assembly passed ‘The Capital University of Science and Technology Bill, 2015’ which envisages the establishment of Capital University of Science and Technology in the private sector.

May 24: Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) allocated Rs115 million for a students’ support fund to help needy students in the shape of fee remission or scholarships.

AIOU Vice-Chancellor Dr Shahid Siddiqui in a meeting with senior university officials said the varsity has set a unique example of helping needy students.

May 25: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) released its universities’ rankings for 2014 whereby the Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) Islamabad was, once again, declared the top varsity in the country. The list put the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad and University of the Punjab at second and third place, respectively.

May 27: Students of Forman Christian College (FCC) University won the All Pakistan Bilingual Declamation Contest of 2015, organised by the Punjab University.

June 11: Though the annual budget of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has seen a steady increase for several years, in the recent ranking none of the Pakistani universities could make a place among the top 100 universities of Asia.

World in Focus May June 2015 2

TRANSFERS & APPOINTMENTS

May 21: The acting Speaker of the Balochistan Assembly, Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo, was sworn in as acting governor of the province.

Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Noor Miskanzai administrated the oath to Mr Bizenjo.

May 22: Senior bar member Hafiz Shahid Nadeem Kahloon took oath as additional judge of the Lahore High Court.

May 25: Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed inducted Sardar Abid Hussain Abid as a member in his cabinet, raising its strength to 24.

May 25: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) set aside the termination of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) chairman Chaudhry Rashid Ahmed.

June 02: Pakistan nominated former captain Zaheer Abbas to become president of the International Cricket Council (ICC) after the game’s world governing body said it was seeking distinguished ex-cricketers for the job.

June 02: After a nine-month lapse, Research and Development Division Chief Meteorologist Dr Ghulam Rasul was appointed as the director general of Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD).

June 04: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appointed Haroon Akhtar Khan as Special Assistant to the PM on Revenues with the status of Minister of State.

June 05: President Mamnoon Hussain extended the tenure of Islamabad High Court (IHC) judge, Athar Minallah, for a year and approved appointment of 10 additional judges of the Lahore High Court (LHC).

June 08: Chief Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk administered the oath of office to Rana Asad Ameen who was appointed as Auditor General of Pakistan.

June 14: The Board of Directors of Allied Bank Limited appointed Tahir Hassan Qureshi as the new CEO effective June 17, 2015, subject to approval of the State Bank of Pakistan.

June 15: The Prime Minister appointed Dr Syed Asif Saeed Kirmani as Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Political Affairs.

SPORTS

May 18: Teenager Nauman Anwar scored 97 to inspire Sialkot Stallions to a crushing victory against Lahore Lions in the final of the Cool & Cool presents Haier Super 8 T20 Cup at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad.

The Stallions, thereby, also displaced the Lions as Pakistan’s representatives at the next edition of the Champions League T20.

May 24: Pakistan secured a two-wicket victory over Zimbabwe to win the two-match Twenty20 International series 2-0 at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.

May 25: Jawed Shamim clinched the ‘Premier’ division title with 7 wins and a spread of 234 at the Danpak 10th Ranking Scrabble Tournament.

Waseem Khatri finished as runner-up with 6 wins and a spread of 676. Former World Youth champion Moiz Baig ended up 3rd with 6 wins and a spread of 495.

May 29: Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail and Shoaib Malik guided Pakistan to a six-wicket victory over Zimbabwe in the second ODI at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium.

May 31: Pakistan won the One-day International series against Zimbabwe 2-0 after the third and final match ended in no result following heavy rains.

June 01: Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Najam Sethi withdrew his nomination for ICC presidency, requesting a former cricketer from the country to take his place as per the demand of world cricket’s governing body.

June 02: Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) chief Executive and FIH Master Coach Tayyab Ikram of Pakistan was elevated to the position of member International Olympic Committee (IOC) Sports and Activity Society Commission.

June 03: Sports Board Punjab (SBP) team crushed Islamabad by a massive margin of 10-0 in the final of Inter-Provincial Under-16 Girls Hockey Championship in Hyderabad.

June 04: Legendary Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar maintained his top spot in ICC Elite Panel of Umpires for the year 2015-2016.

June 15: Waseem Khatri made a remarkable recovery to snatch the title at the ‘Premier’ division of Danpak 5th Chishty Memorial Scrabble Tournament.

OBITUARIES

May 17: Renowned Urdu and Punjabi poet Aizaz Ahmad Azar passed away. He was 72.

May 22: Film and stage artiste Mehwish died.

World in Focus May June 2015 6June 01: Former Test batsman Azmat Rana died of cardiac arrest in Lahore at age of 63.

June 05: Former Lahore High Court (LHC) chief justice Iftikhar Husain Chaudhry passed away.

June 09: A PPP founding member and former MPA, Baji Nusrat Rashid, died.

June 15: Lt Commander (R) Mohammed Naseem, a Supreme Court lawyer and father of MQM Senator Farogh Naseem, expired in Karachi.

PEOPLE IN NEWS

World in Focus May June 2015 8Adnan Mushtaq

May 22: Adnan Mushtaq, a 26 years old Pakistani student, won right to enter the United Kingdom after a judge ruled in his favour and against Britain’s High Commission in Islamabad during an administrative review.

Habab Idrees

May 27: Habab Idrees, a student from Karachi, secured third place at the world’s largest pre-college science fair, competing against 1,700 young scientists from across the globe.

He was one of eight Pakistani students who presented their science projects at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Isef) 2015, held in Pittsburgh, United States, from May 10 to May 15. He earned third place in the ‘Energy: Physical’ category for his project of a solar-powered multipurpose thermostat device.

Tanwir Afzal

May 28: A Pakistan-born fast-bowling all-rounder Tanwir Afzal was named as captain of Hong Kong cricket team for the upcoming ICC World T20 qualifiers.

Nighat Dad

May 29: Pakistan’s digital-rights advocate Nighat Dad was named in the TIME’s list of next generation leaders. Nighat, a 34-year-old lawyer who used to practice criminal and family law, set up the Digital Rights Foundation in 2012, teaching thousands of Pakistanis to protect themselves from online harassment.

Malala Yousafzai

May 31: My Theo e.V., a German NGO, gave a Blue Heart Award to Malala Yousafzai, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, in recognition of her courage and work for the female education.

Zara Afzaal, a Pakistani student of the Berlin International School, received the award on her behalf in a ceremony held here in Germany in connection with the International Children’s Day.

Ajay Ram Jayswal Kalkar

June 03: Nepalese student Ajay Ram Jayswal Kalkar was awarded a gold medal for securing overall first position in Pharm D at the second convocation of Punjab University’s College of Pharmacy.

Badshah Pehalwan Khan

June 07: Badshah Pehalwan Khan, a native of Dolian, who grew up in France, is the only Pakistani in professional wrestling. Khan made his debut in professional wrestling in 2012. Two years later, he was signed by Wrestling Stars (Catch WS) in France, Europe’s leading professional wrestling company and since then has been competing all over Europe.

PLACES IN NEWS

Geneva

May 17: A meeting of Commonwealth ministers and health ministers from Eastern Mediterranean countries was held at Geneva. Speaking at the occasion, Pakistan’s Minister of State for National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar called for ensuring equality in the health sector so that poor and deprived sections of society could have access to top quality health services.

Islamabad

May 25: Pakistan hosted the first of the three meetings of senior officials of the Heart of Asia — Istanbul Process as a prelude to the Ministerial Conference scheduled for later this year.

The meeting, which was inaugurated by Adviser to the PM on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz, was co-chaired by Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry and Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai.

Quetta

May 26: A seminar on GSP+ was organised by an NGO, Potohar Organisation for Development Advocacy (PODA). Speakers at the seminar said that the country has to improve its human rights situation to increase exports to Europe and get maximum benefit of the European Union’s Generalised Scheme of Preference + (GSP+) which links human rights and social issues to trade policy.

Dhaka

June 12: While addressing the 30th SAARCFINANCE meeting in Dhaka, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Ashraf Mahmood Wathra said that the ‘SAARCFINANCE’ network can play an important role in promoting cooperation among the member countries for collective welfare in the region.

 INTERNATIONAL

May 16: An Egyptian court sentenced deposed president Mohamed Morsi and more than 100 other people to death for their role in a mass jailbreak during the 2011 uprising.

Hours after the ruling, gunmen shot dead two judges, a prosecutor and their driver in the strife-torn Sinai Peninsula.

World in Focus May June 2015 5May 16: A US jury sentenced 21-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death for his role in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, one of the worst assaults on American soil since the September 11, 2001 attacks.

May 18: Margaret Chan, the Director General of World Health Organization (WHO), revealed that the UN agency will dramatically reform its emergency response operations this year.

May 18: Saudi-led coalition warplanes resumed strikes on rebel positions in southern Yemen after a five-day ceasefire expired.

May 19: Top United Nations officials, in a joint statement, urged the leaders of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand to protect migrants and refugees stranded on vessels in the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea and to give priority to saving lives.

May 19: US President Barack Obama renewed a legal restriction that forbids foreign financial institutions from purchasing petroleum and petroleum products from Iran.
The restriction has prevented energy-starved Pakistan from completing a pipeline project for bringing natural gas from Iran.

May 19: European foreign and defence ministers agreed to use naval forces to intercept and disrupt ships used by smugglers of migrants from North Africa, a far more assertive attempt to combat the swelling migration crisis that has led to thousands of deaths at sea.

May 20: Disney opened its first Chinese store, before the launch of its first mainland theme park, as it seeks to sell Mickey Mouse and friends to the Asian giant’s middle classes.

May 21: According to a study released by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the gap between the rich and the poor in most of the world’s advanced economies is at record levels,

May 21: Human rights group Amnesty International honoured Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei and US folk singer Joan Baez as joint winners of its Ambassador of Conscience Award, the highest prize of this London-based group.

May 22: A suicide bomber killed 21 people in a packed mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia, the first attack in the kingdom to be claimed by militants of the self-styled Islamic State (IS).

May 22: Gordon Brown, the UN Special Envoy for Global Education said that “shocking figures” relating to the position of children in emergency situations underlined the need for a new humanitarian fund to ensure the education of millions of children.

May 22: Colombia’s largest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, called off a unilateral ceasefire in reaction to a military raid on a guerrilla camp that killed 26 of its fighters.

May 22: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan opened Ordu-Giresun airport, a major new airport on the Black Sea, touted as the first in Europe built on a man-made island.

May 23: With 11 crucial MPs in the Rajya Sabha who could tip the balance in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s favour or mar his chance of pushing business-friendly laws by staying with the opposition, former actress Jayalalithaa Jayaram was being wooed by both sides when she was sworn in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for the fifth time.

May 23: Irish voters backed same-sex marriage by a landslide margin in a referendum marking a dramatic social shift in the traditionally Catholic country.

Ireland had become the first Catholic country to adopt same-sex marriage via a popular vote by a margin of around two-to-one.

May 24: A French thriller spotlighting the plight of traumatised refugees building new lives, “Dheepan”, captured the Palme d’Or top prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
A jury led by Hollywood filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen chose the gritty picture about Sri Lankan asylum-seekers by acclaimed French director Jacques Audiard among 19 international contenders.

May 25: The United Arab Emirates laid out a strategic framework for the newly-created UAE Space Agency that aims to integrate various arms of the Gulf federation’s burgeoning space industry. The Agency aims also to regulate and support the industry, which includes existing Earth-orbiting satellite programmes and plans for a mission to Mars in 2020.

The seven-state federation, perhaps best known for its oil wealth and extravagant attractions like Dubai’s palm-shaped islands and the record-breaking Burj Khalifa skyscraper, is fast establishing itself as the Arab world’s leader in the space sector.

May 25: Former Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, was sentenced to eight months in prison for corruption.

May 26: Former Mexican Finance Minister Angel Gurria was re-elected secretary general of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, giving him a further six years to press his agenda of innovation ahead.

May 26: The first financial trader to face prosecution accused of rigging global benchmark interest rates went on trial in London.

May 26: Undeterred by the controversy over his earlier “terrorists have to be neutralised only through terrorists” remark, Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar asserted that he will go to “any extent” to protect India and those who attack will be “paid back in the same coin”.

May 28: Finance chiefs from the Group of Seven (G7) economic powers discussed ways to revive the faltering global recovery at a meeting held in Dresden, Germany.

May 28: British Prime Minister David Cameron called for “flexible and imaginative” reforms from the EU as he swung through Paris on a tour of Europe to lobby for changes to the 28-nation bloc.

May 28: The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, world’s chemical watchdog, reported that 90 percent of the global chemical weapons stockpile has been destroyed.

The stockpiles included caches containing chemicals needed to make deadly nerve agents like sarin.

May 28: A wave of intense heat killed more than 1,300 people in India and left the government scrambling to warn people about the dangers of stepping outside in the blazing midday sun.

May 29: Nigeria’s new President Muhammadu Buhari pledged to tackle the nation’s problems “head on” and an intensified fight against Boko Haram in his inaugural speech after taking the oath of office.

May 29: The United States formally removed Cuba from its blacklist as a state sponsor of terrorism.

The decision means Cuba will now have better access to US banking facilities and American aid, and a ban on arms exports and sales is also lifted.

May 29: Paris city officials, exasperated with lovers sealing their passion by clipping padlocks all over the city, decided to remove 45 tonnes of the locks from the Pont des Arts bridge that spans the Seine River.

May 29: The world’s premier spelling bee ended in a tie in the US for a second year in a row. Vanya Shivashankar, 13, and Gokul Venkatachalam, 14, together hoisted the gold trophy after they clinched the 88th Scripps National Spelling Bee.

May 29: According to the Pew Research Centre’s national survey, 58 per cent Americans approve of US drone strikes that target extremists in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen despite concerns that they endanger innocent civilians.

May 30: The self-styled Islamic State demolished a prison in the Syrian city of Palmyra, eliminating what was for decades one of the country’s most feared detention centres.

May 30: The founding father of India, Mahatma Gandhi, gone missing from India’s Rs10 currency note.

The bank notes were posted on the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s website.

May 31: India will buy only 36 Rafale fighter jets as they are “way too expensive”, the defence minister Manohar Parrikar said, dashing lingering French hopes of a larger deal that has been years in the making.

May 31: US Secretary of State John Kerry broke his leg in a bicycle crash and scrapped the rest of a four-nation trip that included an international conference on combating the self-styled Islamic State.

June 01: An American among several believed to be held by Iran-backed Houthis in war-ravaged Yemen was freed and flown to neighbouring Oman, which is hosting talks between the US and the rebels.

June 02: The Norwegian Academy of Literature and Freedom of Expression awarded former US security contractor Edward Snowden the Bjornson Prize, a prize for freedom of expression named after a Norwegian Nobel literature laureate. Snowden also received yet another invitation to leave his exile and receive the award in person.

June 03: Scientists hailed a “new era” in their quest to unravel more mysteries of the universe as the world’s biggest particle smasher started experiments with nearly doubled energy levels in a key breakthrough.

The tests at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) came after a sweeping two-year revamp of the collider.

June 04: France presented 19 of Britain’s famous “Chelsea Pensioners” with the Legion d’Honneur at a ceremony in London, recognising their role in liberating France during World War II.

June 04: Internet giant Google apologised “for any confusion or misunderstanding” caused after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s images started appearing in image search results for query on “Top 10 criminals”.

June 04: US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter met India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and signed a 10-year strategic defence framework pact, which was agreed to during President Obama’s visit to New Delhi in January 2015.

June 05: The Bavarian Alps venue may look tranquil, but global turmoil — from Ukraine to Islamist militants and the Greek crisis — dominates the agenda of the G7 summit, which is being held without Russia.

June 05: Prominent scientist Ameenah Gurib-Fakim was sworn in as president of Mauritius, becoming the first women to hold the ceremonial position in the Indian Ocean island nation.

June 06: Bangladesh and India sealed a historic land pact to swap territories, which would finally allow tens of thousands of people living in border enclaves to choose their nationality after decades of stateless limbo.

June 06: A total of 396 people were confirmed dead after a cruise ship capsized in central China.

June 07: South Korean boffins carried home the $2 million top prize after their robot triumphed in a disaster response challenge inspired by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown in Japan.

Team KAIST and its DRC-Hubo robot took the honour ahead of Team IHMC Robotics and Tartan Rescue, both from the United States. The runners-up wan $1 million and $500,000 respectively, in a field of more than 20 competitors.

June 07: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost its absolute parliamentary majority in legislative elections. The AKP won the biggest share of the vote in the elections, but well down on the almost 50 per cent it recorded in the previous 2011 polls.

June 07: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recalled his participation in the Jana Sangh campaign backing the rebels in former East Pakistan as he accepted a ‘liberation war’ honour on behalf of former premier Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Admitting that there had been a conspiracy to divide Pakistan, he said the establishment of Bangladesh was a desire of every Indian and that’s why India’s forces fought along with the Mukti Bahini, thus creating a new country.

Modi said he was one of the young volunteers who came to Delhi in 1971 to participate in the Satyagraha Movement launched by Jana Sangh as a volunteer to garner support for the Mukti Bahini members.

June 08: Belgrade announced to erect a monument honouring Gavrilo Princip, the Bosnian Serb nationalist whose assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand sparked World War I.

June 08: Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law an amnesty for people who illegally spirited funds out of the country, hoping to counter the capital flight that has contributed to the country’s economic crisis.

June 09: Nepal’s rival political parties struck a historic agreement to end years of deadlock on a new constitution that will divide the country into eight provinces.

June 09: Daredevil adventurer James Kingston became the first person in the world to stand on the top of Wembley Stadium’s famous arch.

June 10: Human rights groups have criticised UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for “bowing to pressure from the United States” after the world body decided against inclusion of Israel’s name on the “List of Shame” a document that names groups and states which violate children’s rights during conflicts.

June 10: Cuban novelist Leonardo Padura, whose crime novels explore Havana’s grubby underside, was awarded Spain’s Princess of Asturias award for literature.

June 11: Kazakhstan completed the negotiations needed to join the World Trade Organisation, the Geneva-based trade body said in a statement, and is on track to become the 162nd WTO member by the end of the year.

Kazakhstan has spent the entire life of the 20-year-old WTO trying to join the body, and its candidacy gathered pace after its neighbour and close trade partner Russia joined in 2012. Kazakhstan is part of the Eurasian Economic Union, a regional trade grouping that includes Russia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Belarus and has common tariffs for imports from outside the bloc.

June 12: Tackling climate change is a unique opportunity for job creation and economic growth, up to 60 million jobs can be created in a greener, low carbon economy if the right policies are adopted, Guy Ryder, the Director General of International Labour Organisation.

June 12: King Felipe VI of Spain removed the title “Duchess of Palma” from his sister, Princess Cristina, who went on trial charged with tax evasion.

ECONOMY

May 16: Indian and Chinese firms signed 21 agreements worth a total of more than US$22 billion in Shanghai.

May 18: A report by the UNCTAD namely ‘Global Investment Trends Monitor’ revealed that countries in developing Asia have, for the first time, collectively invested more money abroad than North American and European countries.

World in Focus May June 2015 4According to the report, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) outflows from developing Asia increased by a third to $440 billion in 2014, followed by North America ($390bn) and Europe ($286bn).

May 19: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang came to the rescue of Brazil’s slumping economy with trade, finance and investment deals worth tens of billions of dollars in energy, mining, aviation and the upgrade of dilapidated infrastructure.

May 21: Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced a US$110 billion investment plan for infrastructure projects in Asia, in an apparent counter to China’s move to launch a new development bank.

June 01: China and South Korea formally signed a free trade agreement (FTA) that would remove most tariffs between Asia’s largest and fourth largest economies.

June 15: Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange allowed foreign investors to trade shares for the first time, boosting efforts by the world’s top oil exporter to become a major global capital market.

SPORTS

May 17: Top-ranked Novak Djokovic bolstered his clay-court credentials with a convincing win over old rival Roger Federer to capture his fourth Italian Open title.

May 17: Barcelona secured their 23rd La Liga title with a game to spare when they dethroned the champions Atletico Madrid.

May 17: Russia’s Maria Sharapova secured her third Italian Open crown with an impressive win over Spain’s Carla Suarez.

May 19: Yorkshire batsman Joe Root, 24, was elected England Cricketer of the Year for 2014-15 by British sports journalists.

Root has scored 1,135 Test runs at an average of nearly 95 over the past 12 months, including four scores of 149 and over, and also hit three one-day international centuries.

May 24: Mumbai Indians won the Indian Premier League 2015.

May 28: Sevilla retained their Europa League title and lifted the trophy for a record fourth time.

May 29: Sepp Blatter was re-elected as FIFA president for a fifth term.

The 209 FIFA member federations gave the 79-year-old Blatter another four-year term after Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan conceded defeat by 133-73 in the first round.

May 30: Alastair Cook became England’s highest-ever run-scorer in Test cricket when he broke the record of batting mentor Graham Gooch during the second Test against New Zealand at Headingley.

May 30: Britain’s Amir Khan took a unanimous decision victory over American Chris Algieri in a welterweight matchup.

May 30: James Anderson became the first Englishman and 12th bowler overall to take 400 or more wickets in Test cricket when he dismissed New Zealand’s Martin Guptill on the first day of the second Test match at Headingley. This was Anderson’s 104th Test match.

May 31: Arsenal won the FA Cup for a record 12th time, outclassing Aston Villa 4-0 at Wembley.

May 31: A magical Lionel Messi goal, the first of a personal double, led Barcelona to the Copa del Rey title with a 3-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao.

May 31: Paris St Germain became the first French side to win the domestic treble.

May 31: VfL Wolfsburg scored three times in 16 minutes to beat Borussia Dortmund 3-1 to win the German Cup for the first time.

June 04: AB de Villiers was named South Africa’s Cricketer of the Year for the second successive year at Cricket South Africa’s annual awards. He was also awarded the ODI Cricketer of the Year, Players’ Player of the Year and Fans’ Player of the Year.

June 06: Serena Williams won her 20th Grand Slam title and third French Open crown at Roland Garros.

June 07: Barcelona were crowned kings of Europe for the fifth time after beating Juventus in Champions League final.

June 07: Swiss ace Stan Wawrinka won the French Open with a victory over world number one Novak Djokovic in an enthralling final.

June 07: China’s 28-year-old Liu Hong smashed the women’s 20km race walk world record by setting a time of 1hr 24min 38sec at an event in Spain. She beat the time of 1:25:02 set by Russia’s Yelena Lashmanova when winning at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

OBITUARIES

May 17: Franz Wright, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet whose work illuminated his passage from abiding despair to religious transcendence, died at 62.

May 18: Indonesia’s Ambassador to Pakistan Burhan Muhammad, who was injured in the Naltar helicopter crash, breathed his last at the Singapore General Hospital.

World in Focus May June 2015 7May 18: Elisabeth Bing, who helped lead a natural childbirth movement that revolutionized how babies were born in the United States, died. She was 100.

May 20: Happy Rockefeller, the socialite whose 1963 marriage to Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller of New York, soon after both had been divorced, raised a political storm in a more genteel time died at 88.

May 24: Nobel prize-winning US mathematician John Nash, 86, who inspired the film “A Beautiful Mind”, was killed with his wife in New Jersey in a car crash.

May 25: Anne Meara, who was half of one of the most successful male-female comedy teams of all time and who went on to enjoy a long and diverse career as an actress and, late in life, a playwright, died. She was 85.

May 26: Marques Haynes, whose dazzling ball-handling skills earned him an international reputation as the world’s greatest dribbler, died. He was 89.

May 31: Beau Biden, the eldest son of US Vice President Joe Biden and a two-time attorney general for Delaware, died of brain cancer. He was 46.

June 05: Iraq’s jailed former foreign minister Tareq Aziz died aged 79.

June 08: Marie-Louise Carven, a driving forces in taking France’s postwar fashion international, died aged 105.

June 11: Accomplished and prolific British actor Christopher Lee, who played the role of Quaid-i-Azam in the film ‘Jinnah’, died at age 93.

Bringing dramatic gravitas and aristocratic bearing to screen villains from Dracula to the wicked wizard Saruman in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, Mr Lee appeared in more than 250 movies. But for Pakistanis, he will forever be remembered as the actor who played the role of Pakistan’s founder.

PEOPLE IN NEWS

Chitra Ramkrishna

May 16: It’s rare that a woman runs a stock exchange — there are just three in the world. Even rarer is to find one who was chosen 23 years ago for the crack team that created it and then climbed the ranks to become its chief executive officer in traditionally patriarchal India. But this Indian woman Chitra Ramkrishna, 52, has achieved this rare feat as she now heads the National Stock Exchange of India. During her career at the NSE, she had helped grow the NSE into the world’s third largest bourse by number of trades and the leader in India with an 82 percent market share that dwarfs the 140-year-old Bombay Stock Exchange.

Alexander Vidiani

May 16: Alexander Vidiani, a senior at Washington College was awarded the Sophie Kerr Award; a $62,900 literary prize known to be the America’s largest literary prize for undergraduates.

Annegret Raunigk

May 23: Annegret Raunigk, a 65-year-old German woman, who already has 13 children, gave birth to quadruplets after undergoing an artificial insemination procedure in Ukraine.

Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wodeyar

May 28: A 23-year-old economics graduate, Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wodeyar, was inducted as the 27th head of the Wodeyar dynasty of Mysore which once ruled swathes of southern India.

Manabi Bandyopadhyay

June 06: Manabi Bandyopadhyay, 50, hit the headlines when the professor of philosophy and Bengali was appointed principal at Krishnagar Women’s College in the eastern state of West Bengal.

Ingeborg Syllm-Rapoport

June 09: Ingeborg Syllm-Rapoport, a 102-year-old Paediatric expert received her doctorate from a Hamburg’s UKE University Medical Centre, nearly 80 years after the Nazis prevented her from sitting the final exam to officially obtain it.

Shiv Charan Yadav

June 11: Eighty-one-year- old Shiv Charan Yadav of Alwar district in Rajasthan failed his 46th attempt at clearing his Class X exam under the Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education. His performance in the other subjects was: Hindi- 3, English- 0, Mathematics- 9 and Sanskrit- 7. Last year he had failed all the subjects. He had got 27 marks in Hindi, 4 in English, 0 in Social Science, 8 in Mathematics and 7 in Sanskrit (Each subject out of 100).

George Kirby and Doreen Luckie

June 13: George Kirby, 103, and Doreen Luckie, 91, held their wedding in Britain, becoming the oldest couple to get married in the world.

Beno Zephine

June 15: In a landmark decision, the External Affairs Ministry of India inducted NL Beno Zephine into the Indian Foreign Services (IFS). Zephine who is from Chennai happens to be the first 100 per cent visually-challenged person to gain entry into IFS.

PLACES IN NEWS

Geneva, Switzerland

May 18-26: The 68th session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) took place in Geneva. Some 3,000 delegates from 180 countries gathered for the occasion in the Swiss city.

The Health Assembly is the supreme decision-making body of World Health Organization (WHO). Its main functions are to determine the policies of the Organization, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme budget. The Health Assembly is held annually in Geneva, Switzerland.

Cairo, Egypt

May 25: A four-day meeting of Libyan tribal leaders opened in Cairo. Egypt is exploring ways to unite warring parties and bring peace to its oil-rich neighbour.

Dresden, Germany

May 28: A meeting of the finance chiefs from the Group of Seven economic powers was held in this German city where they discussed the ways to revive a faltering global recovery, with the United States leaning on Europe to reach a deal to avert a Greek bankruptcy.

Krakow, Poland

May 31: The 15th annual Dragon Festival was held in Polish city of Krakow. Colourful dragons made from paper, fabric and plastic came from around the world to the festival.

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

June 01: A summit of the East African Community (EAC) was held in Tanzanian whereby the leaders demanded that elections in Burundi should be delayed by at least a month and a half and all violence must stop.

The EAC summit was attended by leaders from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Rwandan President Paul Kagame, a key regional player and Burundi’s neighbour, sent a minister to represent him, although South African President Jacob Zuma did not join the talks.

Bavaria, Germany

June 7-8: German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosted US President Barack Obama and the other leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) rich nations, with Russian President Vladimir Putin barred for a third time from what was previously the G8 at the 41st G7 summit held in Bavaria, Germany.

MCQs

National

1. The Human Capital Report 2015 ranks Pakistan at _____ out of 124 countries in the ‘Human Capital Index’.
(a) 100        (b) 108
(c) 113        (d) 124

2. On May 18, Pakistan’s ISI and ______ National Directorate of Security (NDS) signed an accord for cooperation.
(a) Myanmar’s    (b) Russia’s
(c) Afghanistan’s    (d) China’s

3. On May 19, the Government of Pakistan and the ______ signed a grant agreement for provision of 10 mobile clinics for rural areas.
(a) Asian Development Bank
(b) Islamic Development Bank
(c) World Bank Group
(d) Muslim Commercial Bank

4. On May 20, the Senate converted itself into a committee for the ______ time in the country’s parliamentary history.
(a) First        (b) Second
(c) Third        (d) Fourth

5. On May 21, Pakistan and ______ agreed to strengthen relations in diverse areas including trade, economy, people-to-people contacts and tourism.
(a) Kazakhstan    (b) Kyrgyzstan
(c) Tajikistan    (d) Afghanistan

6. On May 21, ______ was appointed as home minister of Sindh.
(a) Suhail Anwar Sial
(b) Jam Madad Ali
(c) Nadir Magsi
(d) Nisar Talpur

7. On May 23, President Mamnoon Hussain removed Muhammad Akhtar Buland Rana from the office of ______ of Pakistan.
(a) Accountant General
(b) Auditor General
(c) Attorney General
(d) Prosecutor General

8. The present Chancellor of Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) is ______.
(a) Irfan Siddiqui
(b) Dr Shahid Siddiqui
(c) President Manoon Hussain
(d) Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif

9. Pakistan hosted the first of the three meetings of senior officials of the Heart of Asia Istanbul Process on ______.
(a) May 22    (b) May 25
(c) May 27    (d) May 28

10. At present, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) cabinet consists of______ members.
(a) 22        (b) 24
(c) 26        (d) 29

11. According to HEC’s Universities’ Rankings for 2014 ______ has been declared the top varsity in Pakistan.
(a) QAU, Islamabad
(b) PU, Lahore
(c) NUST, Islamabad
(d) UHS, Lahore

12. On May 25, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) set aside the termination of ______ chairman Chaudhry Rashid Ahmed.
(a) Nepra    (b) Ogra
(c) Pemra    (d) Nadra

13. On May 28, Pakistan and ______ vowed to build a broad-based, substantive and long-term relationship in all fields.
(a) Kazakhstan    (b) Belarus
(c) Ukraine    (d) Thailand

14. Tanwir Afzal, who was named, on May 28 as captain of Hong Kong cricket team, was born in ______.
(a) Gujrat    (b) Sialkot
(c) Lahore    (d) Hong Kong

15. The Ittefaq Foundries Reference, in which Sharif family was acquitted by the judge of the Accountability Court, Rawalpindi, was filed in ______.
(a) 1999        (b) 2000
(c) 2001        (d) 2002

16. On May 29, an LHC bench headed by ______ declared as illegal the recovery of surcharges under electricity bills.
(a) Justice Ayesha A. Malik
(b) Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah
(c) Justice Syed Kazim Ali
(d) Justice Yawar Ali Shah

17. On May 29, ______ took oath as provincial minister for finance of Punjab.
(a) Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman
(b) Dr Aisha Ghaus
(c) Sardar Hasnain Bahadur
(d) Tanveer Zaman Kaira

18. On May 29, Pakistan was elected vice chair of the executive board of the ______.
(a) WHO        (b) FAO
(c) ICJ        (d) ILO

19. The largest local government elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s history were held on ______.
(a) May 26    (b) May 28
(c) May 29    (d) May 30

20. According to Pakistan’s first-ever Global Adult Tobacco Survey, as many as ______ adults currently use tobacco in Pakistan.
(a) 20.8 million    (b) 23.8 million
(c) 27.8 million    (d) 34.5 million

21. Keenjhar Lake, commonly called Kalri Lake, is situated in ______ district of Sindh.
(a) Badin        (b) Larkana
(c) Thatta    (d) Sukkur

22. The ______ region is the most prioritised of the five eco-regions in Pakistan, and is one of the 40 most significant eco-regions in the world.
(a) Indus        (b) Palearctic
(c) Salt Range    (d) Thar Desert

23. On June 02, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) declared the polls in ______ void because of the disenfranchisement of women.
(a) PK-77 Bunair     (b) PK-85 Swat
(c) PK-95 Dir    (d) PK-96 L. Dir

24. On June 02, ______ was appointed as the director general of Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD).
(a) Arif Mahmood
(b) Hazrat Mir
(c) Dr Nasim Hassan
(d) Dr Ghulam Rasul

25. On June 03, the seventh round of the US-Pakistan Security, Strategic Stability and Non-proliferation Working Group was held in ______.
(a) Luxembourg    (b) Washington
(c) Geneva    (d) Islamabad

26. On June 03, the ______ approved $125 million for Pakistan to support the restoration of resilient flood protection infrastructure and the strengthening of government capacity to manage disasters and climate variability.
(a) World Bank    (b) IMF
(c) ADB        (d) IDB

27. On June 04, ______ was appointed as Special Assistant to the PM on Revenues with the status of Minister of State.
(a) Kamil Ali Agha
(b) Sheikh Waqas Akram
(c) Haroon Akhtar Khan
(d) Humayun Akhtar Khan

28. The total outlay of the federal budget 2015-16 is Rs ______ billion.
(a) 4313        (b) 4323
(c) 4330        (d) 4356

29. On June 07, the United Nations stripped two African NGOs, African Technology Development Link and the African Technical Association, of their UN ______ status on the request of Pakistan.
(a) Advisory    (b) Consultative
(c) Observer     (d) Associate

30. On June 08, Rana Asad Ameen was administered the oath of office as ______ of Pakistan.
(a) Accountant General
(b) Auditor General
(c) Attorney General
(d) Prosecutor General

31. With the elevation of new judges, the number of judges at the LHC has reached its full strength of______.
(a) 45        (b) 50
(c) 55        (d) 60

32. On June 09, Balochistan CM Dr Abdul Malik Baloch inaugurated the Pak-Iran goods train that would ply between Quetta and ______ once a week.
(a) Zahedan    (b) Tehran
(c) Dalgan     (d) Zabol

33. On June 15, the Prime Minister appointed Dr Syed Asif Saeed Kirmani as Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for ______ Affairs.
(a) Political    (b) Legal
(c) AJ&K         (d) Religious

International
1. On May 16, Indian and ______ firms signed 21 agreements worth a total of more than US$22 billion.
(a) Brazilian    (b) S. African
(c) Chinese    (d) Iranian

2. Dr Margaret Chan, the present Director General of World Health Organisation, belongs to ______.
(a) Japan        (b) South Korea
(c) China        (d) Thailand

3. The 68th World Health Assembly (WHA) took place from 18-26 May in ______.
(a) Bonn         (b) Geneva
(c) Paris        (d) Tokyo

4. On May 19, US President Barack Obama renewed a legal restriction that forbids foreign financial institutions from purchasing petroleum and petroleum products from ______.
(a) Iran        (b) Venezuela
(c) Iraq        (d) Cuba

5. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) was established in 1961 with its headquarters in ______.
(a) New York    (b) Washington
(c) Paris        (d) Geneva

6. The Ambassador of Conscience Award is ______ most prestigious human rights award..
(a) IAEA’s
(b) World Bank’s
(c) United Nations’
(d) Amnesty International’s

7. On May 22, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of ______, country’s largest rebel group, called off a unilateral ceasefire.
(a) Thailand‎    (b) Colombia
(c) Cuba    ‎    (d) Bhutan

8. Ordu-Giresun airport is located in ______.
(a) Armenia    (b) Vatican City
(c) Turkey    (d) Azerbaijan

9. On May 23, former actress Jayalalithaa Jayaram was sworn in as Chief Minister of India’s ______ state for the fifth time.
(a) Karnataka    (b) Bihar
(c) Uttarakhand    (d) Tamil Nadu

10. On May 23, ______ became the first Catholic country to adopt same-sex marriage via a popular vote.
(a) Luxembourg    (b) Ireland
(c) Moldova    (d) Latvia

11. The United Arab Emirates is a confederation consisting of ______ states.
(a) 7        (b) 8
(c) 9        (d) 10

12. On May 25, a four-day meeting of Libyan tribal leaders opened in ______.
(a) Tripoli    (b) Alexandria
(c) Tobruk     (d) Cairo

13. On May 25, former ______ prime minister, Ehud Olmert, was sentenced to eight months in prison for corruption.
(a) Lebanese    (b) Israeli
(c) Turkish    (d) Armenian

14. On May 26, a former ______ finance minister, Angel Gurria, was re-elected as secretary general of the OECD.
(a) Mexican    (b) Spanish
(c) Brazilian    (d) Kenyan

15. Africa’s most populous country is ______.
(a) Chad        (b) Niger
(c) Nigeria     (d) Kenya

16. On May 29, the United States removed ______ from its blacklist as a state sponsor of terrorism
(a) North Korea    (b) Cuba
(c) Venezuela    (d) Vietnam

17. Paris’s famous the Pont des Arts Bridge to which lovers attach a lock representing their eternal love is located on the ______ river.
(a) Marne    (b) Seine
(c) Rhine     (d) Danube

18. According to the Pew Research Centre’s national survey, ______ Americans approve of US drone strikes against extremists in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.
(a) 58%        (b) 60%
(c) 65%        (d) 69%

19. On May 31, Indian defence minister Manohar Parrikar announced to buy only 36 Rafale fighter jets from ______, as they were too expensive.
(a) Russia    (b) Germany
(c) Switzerland     (d) France

20. On May 31, the 15th annual Dragon Festival was held in ______ city of Krakow.
(a) Belarusian     (b) Polish
(c) Lebanese     (d) Ukrainian

21. On June 01, China and ______ formally signed a free trade agreement (FTA).
(a) India        (b) Myanmar
(c) South Korea    (d) Indonesia

22. The talks between the US and the Houthi rebels were hosted by ______.
(a) Oman    (b) Iran
(c) Qatar        (d) Egypt

23. On June 02, the Norwegian Academy of Literature and Freedom of Expression awarded ______ the Bjornson Prize, a prize for freedom of expression.
(a) Ai Weiwei
(b) Malala Yousafzai
(c) Edward Snowden
(d) Joan Baez

24. The European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) was set up in 1954 and is based in ______.
(a) France    (b) France
(c) Germany    (d) Switzerland

25. On June 05, prominent scientist Ameenah Gurib-Fakim was sworn as president of ______.
(a) Bhutan    (b) Mauritius
(c) Cambodia    (d) Indonesia

26. On June 06, ______ and India sealed a historic land pact to swap territories.
(a) Bangladesh    (b) Pakistan
(c) Myanmar    (d) Bhutan

27. On June 08, ______ announced to erect a monument honouring Gavrilo Princip, the Bosnian Serb nationalist whose assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand sparked World War I.
(a) Brussels    (b) Minsk
(c) Belgrade    (d) Warsaw

28. On June 10, a ______ novelist Leonardo Padura was awarded Spain’s Princess of Asturias award for literature.
(a) Spanish    (b) Zambian
(c) Belgian    (d) Cuban

29. The members states of the Eurasian Economic Union, a regional trade grouping, are Kazakhstan, Russia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and ______.
(a) Turkey    (b) Belarus
(c) Azerbaijan    (d) England

30. Guy Ryder, the incumbent Director General of the ILO, belongs to ______.
(a) Switzerland    (b) England
(c) Latvia    (d) France

Sports
1. On May 17, top-ranked Novak Djokovic won his fourth ______ title.
(a) China Open    (b) French Open
(c) Italian Open    (d) German Open

2. ______ won the Cool & Cool presents Haier Super 8 T20 Cup played at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad.
(a) Lahore Lions
(b) Sialkot Stallions
(c) Rawalpindi Rams
(d) Peshawar Panthers

3. The Indian Premier League 2015 was won by ______.
(a) Chennai Super Kings
(b) Mumbai Indians
(c) Pune Warriors
(d) Kolkata Knight Riders

4. On May 30, Alastair Cook became ______ highest-ever run-scorer in Test cricket.
(a) England’s    (b) Australia’s
(c) S. Africa’s    (d) Zimbabwe’s

5. May 30: Britain’s Amir Khan took a unanimous decision victory over American boxer ______ in a welterweight matchup.
(a) Chris Algieri
(b) Floyd Mayweather
(c) Andre Berto
(d) Karim Mayfield

6. On May 31, ______ won the FA Cup for a record 12th time.
(a) Man City    (b) Man United
(c) Arsenal    (d) Chelsea

7. On June 07, ______ ace Stan Wawrinka won the French Open with a victory over world number one Novak Djokovic.
(a) German    (b) Swiss
(c) Russian     (d) French

Obituaries
1. Renowned Urdu and Punjabi poet Aizaz Ahmad Azar passed away on ______.
(a) May 17    (b) May 19
(c) May 20    (d) May 22

2. A super hit movie “A Beautiful Mind” was based on the life of a US mathematician ______.
(a) John Nash     (b) Anatole Beck
(c) James Eells    (d) Kristin Lauter

3. Beau Biden, the eldest son of US Vice President Joe Biden died on ______.
(a) May 31    (b) June 01
(c) June 03    (d) June 04

4. On June 05, ______ former foreign minister Tareq Aziz died.
(a) Iran’s     (b) Bangladesh’s
(c) Iraq’s        (d) Jordan’s

5. On June 05, former chief justice of ______ High Court, Iftikhar Husain Chaudhry, passed away.
(a) Peshawar    (b) Lahore
(c) Sindh        (d) Balochistan

6. On June 11, an accomplished and prolific ______ actor Christopher Lee, who played the role of Quaid-i-Azam in the film ‘Jinnah’, died.
(a) Indian    (b) American
(c) British    (d) French

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