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World in Focus (Dec ’18 – Jan 19)

World in Focus (Dec ’18 – Jan 19)


Dec 16: Pakistan was elected as the Vice President and the Rapporteur of the Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, at COP24 in Katowice, Poland.

Dec 17: The opposition unanimously named JUI-F leader Advocate Malik Sikandar as the leader of opposition in the Balochistan Assembly.

Dec 17: Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, during his official visit to Egypt, had an important meeting with General Mohamed Zaki, Commander-in-Chief of Egyptian Armed Forces and Minister of Defence & Military Production and Lt Gen Mohamed Farid Hegazy, Chief of Staff of the Egyptian Armed Forces. The COAS also met Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb, Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar.

Dec 17: The Punjab Institute of Language, Art and Culture (PILAC) compiled a seven-volume dictionary of Punjabi language, considered the mother of all Punjabi dictionaries in the Subcontinent.

Dec 18: The British Airways announced that it will be resuming flights to Pakistan from June 2019, after a 10-year break. The first flight from Heathrow will reach Islamabad on June 2 next year.

Dec 18: Pakistan was declared the second worst country in the world in terms of gender parity, ranking 148 out of 149 countries in the ‘Global Gender Gap Index 2018’ report released by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Dec 18: Renowned film, television, radio and stage actor Ali Ejaz passed away. He was 77.

About Ali Ejaz

Ali Ejaz was born in 1941 in Qila Gujjar Singh, Lahore. Popular comedian Munawwar Zareef was his school fellow. Known for his versatility in acting, Ali Ejaz started his career with theatre in the 1960s. Pakistan Television was his second home where he acted in a number of plays and trained a generation of artistes. He was awarded Pride of Performance in 1993. His first film was Insaniyat. He acted in over 100 films and his pairing with actress Anjuman and comedian Nannha (Rafi Khawar) was very popular in the 1980s. His TV plays Khawaja and Sons, Sona Chandi and Lakhon Mein Teen (with Qavi Khan and Athar Shah Khan Jedi) became household names. He launched philanthropic work under the umbrella of his charity Ali Ejaz Foundation in 2015. One of his notable projects was homes for old people in Kala Khatai, near Lahore.

Dec 18: The 3-day international conference on “Central Asian Regional Economic Integration and CPEC: Prospects, Challenges and the Way Forward,” organised by the Applied Economics Research Centre, started at University of Karachi.

Pakistan and Central Asia

The unique geographic, demographic and economic characteristics of Central Asian countries make it imperative to pursue regional integration and cooperation if they are to integrate globally. Positioned in a vast land-locked location, Central Asian countries face thick borders among themselves with their Eurasian neighbours and with global markets. There resides a relatively small population in the region and their combined economic mass constitutes only a modest-sized economy. Intraregional integration is the only sure path leading to interregional integration and the definite prerequisites transforming from being land-locked to land-linked. Pakistan and Central Asia have shared a geo-cultural affinity and a long tradition of historical contacts. The current situation and the era of globalisation have set some benchmarks in various fields of applied economics but, at the same time, Central Asia and Pakistan are facing lots of challenges to achieve sustainability of the economy. The CPEC as the flagship component of the Belt and Road Initiative provides a great opportunity serving as a catalyst to further boom the economic, social and cultural ties between Pakistan and the Central Asian countries.

Dec 19: The government appointed Wajid Zia, the head of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) in Panama Papers case, the Pakistan Railways Police Inspector General (IG).

Dec 19: The Pakistan Dietary Guidelines for Better Nutrition were launched by the Planning Commission’s nutrition section and the FAO.

Dec 19: The late human rights activist and lawyer Asma Jahangir was posthumously awarded the United Nations Human Rights Prize. Her daughter Munizae Jahangir received the award from president of the UN General Assembly Maria Fernanda Espinosa.

Dec 20: Pakistan and China signed an agreement to expand industrial cooperation in diverse fields and attract investment in special economic zones.

Dec 20: Broadcaster, poet and writer Absar Abdul Ali died.

Dec 20: The Congressional Pakistan Caucus Foundation (CPCF) was launched to help foster friendship, understanding and cooperation between the United States and Pakistan.

Dec 20: A Pakistani student Bilal Bin Saqib, who hails from Lahore, was elected as the leader of more than 6870 postgraduate students at the London School of Economics (LSE) Union.

Dec 21: Pakistani environmentalist and Oxford-based academic Dr Abrar Chaudhry was awarded the prestigious British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship for 2018.

Dec 21: Pak-China Joint International Air Exercise ‘Shaheen-VII’ concluded at an Operational Air Base of PAF.

Dec 21: Google released a doodle in honour of the legendary Pakistani batsman, Hanif Mohammad, who is also known as ‘The Original Little Master’, to mark his 84th birthday.

Read More: World in Focus (Oct-Nov 2018)

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