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6 October 2016, National & International Affairs

National

Oct 06: The Supreme Court directed for the formation of a judicial commission to conduct an investigation into the Aug 8 Quetta bombing.

Oct 06: The Anti-Honour Killing Laws (Criminal Amendment Bill) 2015 and the Anti-Rape Laws (Criminal Amendment Bill) 2015 were passed by the parliament.

Anti-Honour Killing Laws

  1. The law directs judges to sentence someone accused of an honour-killing to a life-term in prison, whether the victim`s immediate family forgives the culprit or not.
  2. The killer would only be pardoned by relatives of the victim if he is sentenced to capital punishment.
  3. The culprit would still face a mandatory life sentence of twelve-and-a-half years.

Honour-killings in Pakistan

Honour killing was one of the most critical problems that Pakistan had been facing. According to Human rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), 1276 incidents of honour killings were reported in the country in the period of Feb 2014-Feb 2016 and the FIR was filed in only 400 cases. The original number of such cases is even higher as most of the cases go unreported mainly due to cultural taboos and poor police and judicial system.

Anti-Rape Laws

  1. It gives legal cover to the collection and use of DNA evidence to prove that rape has been committed.
  2. The DNA samples collected shall be at the earliest sent for investigation to a forensic laboratory whereat these shall be properly examined and preserved.
  3. The bill makes amendments to Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) 1860, Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) 1898 and the Qanun-i-Shahadat Order 1984.
  4. The verdicts in the rape cases will have to be given within three months, with the right to appeal in six months.
  5. Officers who do not pursue an inquiry diligently will be punished for three years in prison, a fine, or both.
  6. Punishment for obstruction of an investigation has been increased from 3 months in prison to 1 year, and the fine from Rs500 to Rs50,000.
  7. Anyone who rapes a minor or a mentally or physically disabled person will be liable for the death penalty or life imprisonment.
  8. The same punishment is prescribed if a public servant such as police officer, jailer or medical officer takes advantage of their position to commit rape.
  9. The trials for offences such as rape and related crimes shall be conducted in-camera
  10. Use of technology such as video links to record statements of the victim and witnesses has been allowed.
  11. Media shall not publish or publicise the names or any information that would reveal the identity of a victim, except when publishing court judgements.

 Oct 06: Pakistan raised $1 billion through a five-year international Islamic Sukuk bond at a rate of return of 5.5 per cent.

What is Sukuk?

Sukuk are Islamic bonds structured in such a way as to generate returns to investors without infringing Islamic law (that prohibits riba or interest). They represent undivided shares in the ownership of tangible assets relating to particular projects or special investment activity. A sukuk investor has a common share in the ownership of the assets linked to the investment although this does not represent a debt owed to the issuer of the bond.

In the case of conventional bonds the issuer has a contractual obligation to pay to bond holders, on certain specified dates, interest and principal. In contrast, under a sukuk structure the sukuk-holders each hold an undivided beneficial ownership in the underlying assets. Consequently, sukuk holders are entitled to a share in the revenues generated by the Sukuk assets. The sale of sukuk relates to the sale of a proportionate share in the assets.

About Islamic Sukuk bond

  1. Pakistan placed an initial offering of $500 million but received five times greater bids of $2.4bn.
  2. Over 100 blue-chip international investors participated in the auction.
  3. Pakistan accepted bids from about 90 leading investors.
  4. The bond proceeds would be available to Pakistan in three working days.
  5. Pakistan’s bond pricing is lower than the bonds recently launched by Sri Lanka at 5.75pc and by Bahrain at 5.625pc.
  6. 38pc of the bonds were allocated to investors from Europe, 27pc from North America, 27pc from Middle East and North Africa, 6pc from Asia and 2pc from other regions.
  7. No Pakistani could take part in the auction because the bond was restricted to international institutional investors.

What is a Blue Chip?

A blue chip is a nationally recognized, well-established and financially sound company. Blue chips generally sell high-quality, widely accepted products and services. Blue chip companies are known to weather downturns and operate profitably in the face of adverse economic conditions, which helps to contribute to their long record of stable and reliable growth.

Oct 06: Pakistan’s women created history by qualifying for the Asian Hockey Federation Cup semifinals for the first time.

Oct 06: Renowned religious scholar and former MNA Shah Turabul Haq Qadri passed away at the age of 72.

Brief Profile

  1. Qadri was born in 1944 in Hyderabad Deccan, India, and his family migrated to Pakistan after Partition.
  2. He got his religious education from Darul Uloom Amjadia in Karachi.
  3. He began his political career by contesting the local government elections.
  4. He won an MNA seat during the non-party election in 1985.
  5. He has authored more than one dozen books on religious topics. His famous books are: Tasawwuf Wa Tareeqat, Mubarak Raatein and The Role of Religious Scholars in Pakistan Movement.

 International

Oct 06:  A World Bank study titled “Economic and Social Inclusion to Prevent Violent Extremism” said that recruits into the Islamic State group are better educated than their average countryman, contrary to popular belief.

Oct 06: The United States and more than 40 other countries issued the “Joint Declaration for the Export and Subsequent Use of Armed or Strike-Enabled Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).”

About the Declaration

The declaration lays out principles to govern the export and use of armed drones to ensure they do not cause instability or help terrorism and organized crime.

Many U.S. allies such as Britain, Germany and Australia were among the countries that signed the declaration released by the U.S. State Department.

France, Israel, Brazil, Russia and China, among other countries, did not sign the declaration.

About US’ Drone Program

The United States regularly uses drones to attack Islamic State, al Qaeda and other militant groups in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other countries. The US military’s drone program has expanded far beyond specific strikes to become an everyday part of its war machine. Drones fired more weapons than conventional warplanes in Afghanistan last year and the ratio is rising, US Air Force data show.

Oct 06: The EU launched its beefed-up border force “The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (EBCG)”.  The EBCG will have at its disposal some 1,500 officers from 19 member states who can be swiftly mobilised in case of an emergency.

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