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World in Focus ( Sept-Oct 2017 )

World in Focus ( Sept-Oct 2017 )

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Sep 16: Pakistan asked the World Bank to constitute a court of arbitration to settle its water dispute with India after India and Pakistan secretary-level talks, at the World Bank headquarters in Washington, failed.

Sep 16: AJK President Sardar Masood Khan took oath as the chief of the AJK Boy Scouts Association.

Sep 16: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi approved a proposal to increase the number of directors general (DGs) of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) from one to four.

He also approved 3 new DG posts in grade 21, 7 deputy director slots in grade 20 and has also enhanced the number of deputy directors general (DDGs) from 8 to 15.

The post of civilian DG in the ISI is a grade 21 position, equivalent to a serving major general of army.

About ISI

1. Formed in 1948, ISI was formerly part of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), which handled intelligence-sharing between different branches of the military, as well as external intelligence gathering.
2. Its headquarters was initially located in Rawalpindi, but was later moved to Islamabad.
3. In 1950, ISI was officially given the task of safeguarding Pakistani interests and national security, inside and outside the country.
4. In 2005, Gen Pervez Musharraf approved the posting of a civilian as DG ISI in grade 21 for the first time.

Sep 17: The PML-N candidate, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz Sharif, won by-election in NA 120 constituency, securing 61,254 votes against PTI’s Dr Yasmin Rashid’s 47,066.

Sep 17: Ms Rahat Faiq Jamali was inducted into the Balochistan cabinet as a minister for Labor & Manpower, becoming the only woman in the provincial cabinet.

Sep 17: Renowned television actor Iftikhar Qaiser breathed his last.

Sep 18: British-Pakistani actor Riz Ahmed became the first male actor of Asian descent to win an Emmy for acting. He was nominated for his role in HBO’s The Night Of.

Sep 18: The Bank of China was allowed to commence banking business in Pakistan, becoming only the second Chinese bank allowed to operate in the country.

Sep 19: The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) awarded $700 million to Karkey Karadeniz Elektrik Uretim AS, a Turkish company that constructs and operates rental power plants (RPPs), in a damages suit it had brought out against Pakistan.

Sep 20: The PCB’s anti-corruption tribunal awarded Khalid Latif a 5-year ban and Rs1 million fine in PSL spot-fixing case.

Sep 21: The Lahore High Court ordered the Punjab home secretary to make public the Justice Najafi Commission report into the 2014 killings in Model Town, Lahore.

Sep 21: The Senate of Pakistan suspended its Pakistan-Switzerland friendship group for an indefinite period over BLA posters issue.

Sep 21: The Senate of Pakistan announced the formation of an eight-member special committee to prepare a set of recommendations to reform the FPSC.

Sep 21: Google unveiled a doodle to mark the 92nd birthday of Malika-i-Tarannum Noor Jehan.

About Noor Jehan

1. Noor Jehan was born on Sept. 21, 1925 (one account suggests it was 1926) in Kasur.
2. She was barely 10 years when she started working in films as a child artist, and began singing songs for films as a teenager.
3. Khandaan (1942) directed by Shaukat Husain Rizvi was the film that proved the first major milestone in her career.
4. After partition, Noor Jehan worked in films both as an actor and singer but soon quit acting to concentrate on music.
5. She died on Dec 23, 2000.

Sep 21: A bust of Nobel laureate Dr Abdus Salam was unveiled at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna.

Sep 21: A UK cricket team played a T20 match against former Pakistan greats in Miramshah.

Sep 22: The Senate passed the Election Bill, 2017, to retain a controversial clause resurrected by Gen (R) Pervez Musharraf through the Political Parties Order 2002, paving the way for Nawaz Sharif to head his party i.e. PML-N.

The Rare, Potent Fuel Powering North Korea’s Weapons

North Korea recently launched a number of long-range missiles to demonstrate its ability to strike Guam and perhaps the United States mainland, it powered the weapons with a rare, potent rocket fuel that American intelligence agencies believe initially came from China and Russia.

The United States government is scrambling to determine whether those two countries are still providing the ingredients for the highly-volatile fuel and, if so, whether North Korea’s supply can be interrupted, either through sanctions or sabotage. Among those who study the issue, there is a growing belief that the United States should focus on the fuel, either to halt it, if possible, or to take advantage of its volatile properties to slow the North’s programme.

But it may well be too late. Intelligence officials believe that the North’s programme has advanced to the point where it is no longer reliant on outside suppliers, and that it may itself be making the potent fuel, known as UDMH. Despite a long record of intelligence warnings that the North was acquiring both forceful missile engines and the fuel to power them, there is no evidence that Washington has ever moved with urgency to cut off Pyongyang’s access to the rare propellant.

Some experts are sceptical that the North has succeeded in domestic production, given the great difficulty of making and using the highly-poisonous fuel, which, in far more technically advanced nations, has led to giant explosions of missiles and factories.

Sep 22: A British Pakistani Conservative parliamentarian and a Tory MP, Rahman Chishti, was appointed Britain’s trade envoy to Pakistan.

Sep 22: In his first address to the UN General Assembly, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi highlighted Kashmir as a key dispute, refused to be a ‘scapegoat’ for Afghanistan and reminded the world that it was not Pakistan that started a nuclear race in South Asia.

Sep 22: Nawabzada Gazain Marri, son of the late Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri, was arrested on his arrival at Quetta airport after ending 18 years of self-exile.

Sep 22: Federal Ombudsman Syed Tahir Shahbaz issued directives to the ministries of National Health Services and Finance to enforce the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to make cigarettes inaccessible to citizens.

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