Apr 16: The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) declared Pakistan the largest country in the world to provide shelter to refugees.
As per the UNHCR report, Pakistan continued to host the largest number of refugees in the world (1.45 million), nearly all from Afghanistan.
Apr 16: The eight new members of AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan’s cabinet were allotted portfolios.
Apr 16: Government launched savings certificates for special people in line with its announcement made in the budget for the current fiscal year of 2017-18.
Apr 16: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi along with Defence Minister Khurram Dastagir, Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and ISI Director General Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar attended the concluding ceremony of Joint Gulf Shield-1 military drill.
Apr 16: The PPP-led Sindh government approved the province’s first-ever agriculture and youth policies.
Apr 16: Pakistan’s leading human rights watchdog, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), issued its annual report titled the “State of Human Rights in 2017”. The report was dedicated to the late lawyer activist Asma Jehangir, who was one of the founders of the commission.
Note: A detailed analysis on the report has been published in May 2018 issue of Jahangir’s World Times.
Apr 16: The Judicial Commission of Pakistan recommended the elevation of Justice Munib Akhtar of the Sindh High Court as a judge of the Supreme Court.
Gulf Shield-1 Military Drill
On Apr 16, the concluding ceremony of Joint Gulf Shield-1 military drill was held in Saudi Arabia’s eastern city of Jubail.
About Gulf Shield-1
1. Gulf Shield-1 military exercise is one of the largest military exercises in the region.
2. It aims at raising the level of preparedness; enhancing mutual coordination and cooperation among the participating countries, exchange of expertise and security integration.
3. It also aimed to enable the participating forces to confront challenges and threats within a joint operation environment to achieve the concept of the joint action.
4. Participants in the exercises include military forces of high levels of training and professionalism, using many modern and sophisticated weapons.
5. The manoeuvres included launching a counterattack on ballistic missiles platforms inside enemy boundaries, chasing naval speed boats and in economic waters, striking infiltrators into Al-Khair I and Al-Khair II islands and defending the country’s border through a joint naval, army and air force operation.
6. Twenty-four countries participated in the exercise, which continued for nearly a month.
7. Besides hosts Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the other countries that took part in the exercise were the United States, the UK, the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, Mauritania, Malaysia, Chad, Djibouti, Niger, Comoros, Afghanistan, Oman, Guyana, Turkey, and Burkina Faso.
8. The concluding ceremony was attended by a number of princes, ministers, senior officials and members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Kingdom.
Apr 18: Despite the fact that the world is making fast progress in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and spending billions of dollars annually, Pakistan has allocated only a meager amount of around $3.3 million annually. On the contrary, Pakistan’s immediate neighbour India has allocated $480 million to the fifth generation technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) machine learning and internet of things.
Apr 18: China’s Guangming Daily and All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) held China and Pakistan Media Forum in Beijing. The theme of the forum was “Belt and Road Initiative and the Building of a Community with a Shared Future for China and Pakistan.”
Apr 18: PTI chairman Imran Khan initiated disciplinary action against 20 MPAs – nearly one-third of party’s lawmakers in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly – for allegedly selling their votes in the March Senate elections.
Apr 19: Seven Pakistani peacekeepers, who laid down their lives for global peace and security, were honoured with the UN medal at the UN annual Memorial Ceremony in New York.
Apr 20: The government of Pakistan received the Commonwealth Government Award for Women’s Economic Empowerment. The Award was jointly given by the Commonwealth Businesswomen’s Network and Global Citizen to the Government of Pakistan in recognition of the work and impact in the area of women empowerment.
Apr 20: Pakistan-American comedian Kumail Nanjiani and London Mayor Sadiq Khan were included among Time’s 100 most influential.
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