World in Focus (Aug-Sep 2015)

       World in Focus

National, International News & MCQs

National

Aug 16: Punjab Home Minister Col (R) Shuja Khanzada and 18 others lost their lives in an attack on his dera in his ancestral village Shadi Khan.

Aug 16: HeForShe, UN Women’s solidarity campaign for gender equality, reached Pakistan with a goal “to bring together one half of humanity in support of the other half of humanity, for the benefit of all”.

Aug 16: The ruling PML-N won the by-election for NA-19 Haripur constituency of the National Assembly.

Aug 16: Former DG Inter Services Intelligence Lt. Gen. (R) Hamid Gul was laid to rest at the Army Graveyard with full military honour.

Aug 17: Justice Jawwad S Khawaja took oath as the 23rd Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP). He succeeded Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk and will hold the office for only 23 days till his retirement on September 9.

It was for the first time in the history of the country that the oath, and the whole ceremony, was conducted in Urdu.

Aug 17: Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah approved reshuffle of portfolios in Sindh cabinet.

Information Minister Nisar Khurhro was given the additional portfolio of Education and Literacy Department. Murad Ali Shah was given an additional charge of Treasury, Energy, Planning and Development and Irrigation departments.

Aug 17: Senator Mushahidullah resigned from the post of minister for climate change.

Aug 18: Abdul Rashid Godil, a senior leader and an MNA of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), was critically injured in an attack.

Aug 18: The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) launched a five-month drug prevention campaign in nine districts of Sindh.

Aug 18: Bol TV was taken over by the ARY Digital Network.

World in Focus 8Aug 19: In her address to the Security Council debate on “Regional Organisations and Contemporary Challenges of Global Security”, Pakistan’s permanent ambassador to the UN, Dr Maleeha Lodhi, told the Security Council that the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) can help resolve the longstanding dispute of Kashmir.

Aug 19: The Supreme Court decreed that a code of conduct for the electronic media, which was agreed upon on June 18, 2015, shall be considered to be in force until it has been notified by the concerned authorities.

Aug 19: The government of Gilgit-Baltistan announced to hold a three-day festival at Deosai plains. Situated 4,114 metres above the sea level, the Deosai National Park is the second highest altitude plateau of the world after Chang Tang in Tibet.

Aug 19: Pakistan signed an agreement with Russia for purchase of heavy attack helicopters MI-35 ‘Hind’ to Pakistan.

Aug 19: The Supreme Court (SC) banned the hunting of migratory bird houbara bustard in Pakistan after cancelling licenses/permits issued to foreign dignitaries by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Aug 20: The final phase of Zarb-e-Azb operation in North Waziristan got under way as troops launched a ground offensive in Shawal Valley.

Aug 20: Pakistan called off the 61st Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC), scheduled to be held from Sept 30 to Oct 8 following pressure from other members to invite the speaker of the legislature of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).

Aug 20: The government of Balochistan suspended the registration of 1,226 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Balochistan after their failure to provide details sought by the department concerned.

Aug 20: The Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage formally issued the Code of Conduct 2015 for amendments in Pemra Rules, 2009 under which the electronic media has been directed to ensure that no hate speech is aired in any of its programmes.

Aug 20: The federal government issued a notification to set up special economic zones in Gilgit-Baltistan under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project to improve socio-economic conditions of the people living in this strategically important region.

Aug 20: Pakistan formally launched an injectable polio vaccine, an important step to accelerate its polio eradication campaign as the authorities vowed to wipe out the disease by 2016. More than four million children will benefit from the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), which will be incorporated into the country’s routine immunisation schedule and given to children alongside other jabs.

Aug 20: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly passed the KP Ehtesab Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2015 to further strengthen the provincial accountability law.

Aug 21: Pakistan’s Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, himself took part in air action against terrorists. Several dens of militants and explosive depots were annihilated during his campaign.

Aug 21: The Supreme Court constituted two commissions with the task of submitting comprehensive reports on illegal crossing into Pakistan by people through the towns of Chaman and Torkham bordering Afghanistan.

Aug 21: An MNA of PML-N, Chaudhry Arif Husain, who was elected from NA-144, Okara, was disqualified by an election tribunal for holding a fake degree.

Aug 21: New Delhi conveyed to Pakistan through its Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh that the national security adviser-level talks stand cancelled over the intended meeting of National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz with the Hurriyat leaders in New Delhi on August 23.

Aug 22: An election tribunal in Lahore annulled results of two Lahore constituencies, NA-122 and PP-147; the seats won by National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and an MPA in Punjab, Mohsin Latif, respectively.

Aug 23: The Balochistan government and Unicef signed an MoU to procure nutrition-related supplies worth more than $844,000 to support the provincial nutrition programme for mothers and children.

The MoU was signed by Anjela Kearney, country representative of Unicef Pakistan, and Additional Secretary Health Abdullah Khan at a ceremony held.

Aug 23: Four Pakistan Army soldiers were killed and four others suffered injuries when militants fired rockets on their observation post in Khyber Agency’s Tirah valley from the border areas of Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province.

Aug 25: The Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), General Raheel Sharif, said that the evil nexus between terrorism, criminal mafias, violence and corruption will be broken to ensure a peaceful and terror-free Karachi.

Aug 26: Dr Asim Hussain, a former federal minister and close aide to former president Asif Ali Zardari, was taken into custody by the Rangers.

Aug 26: On a petition filed by PTI’s central organiser Jahangir Khan Tareen, an election tribunal in Multan disqualified the PML-N candidate from NA-154 (Lodhran-I) and ordered re-election.

Aug 26: Showing flexibility over his long-standing stance, Brahamdagh Bugti, the self-exiled leader of the separatist Baloch Republican Party (BRP), said in an interview to the BBC that he was ready to give up his demand for an independent Balochistan if the Baloch so desired.

Aug 27: An anti-corruption court issued non-bailable arrest warrants for former prime minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, former commerce minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim and others after the FIA named them in the final investigation reports of a dozen cases pertaining to a multi-billion rupee trade subsidy scam.

Aug 28: Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah said that interference by federal agencies in the provincial government’s affairs amounted to “invasion of Sindh”.

This was his first reaction after the arrest of Dr Asim Hussain, the Chairman of Sindh’s Higher Education Commission.

Aug 28: The US Department of Defence awarded a $57 million contract to Bell Helicopter to provide Ah-1Z Viper attack helicopters to Pakistan.

The contract covers the manufacture and delivery of 15 Lot 12 UH-1Y Venom utility helicopters, 19 Lot 12 AH-1Zs, one Lot 13 UH-1Y, and 21 auxiliary fuel kits for the government of Pakistan. Some of these initial helicopters will be delivered by the end of August 2018.

Aug 28: The controversial executive council of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), the apex accreditation body for medical professionals in the country, was dissolved through a presidential ordinance.

Aug 28: The government blacklisted all groups which have expressed their sympathies for the ultra-extremist group, also known as Dai’sh.

Aug 29: The councillors-elect of the local governments were administered oath in different cities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Aug 30: Candidates of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf were elected nazims in nine districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, followed by the Jamaat-i-Islami which bagged the posts in four and the PML-N in three.

Aug 31: A full house of the Lahore High Court (LHC) imposed a ban on airing anti-state speeches of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Altaf Hussain.

The bench directed Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to ensure strict implementation on the orders.

Sep 03: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Defence Chairman, Rohail Asghar, said that the Pakistan Army would stay in the tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan till 2019.

Sep 04: Pakistan’s first online portal and database about labour inspection was launched with participation from labour departments of all the four provinces.

The online portal has been developed by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), under its project “Promoting Gender Equality for Decent Employment” funded by the Canadian government.

Sep 05: Pakistan urged the United Nations Security Council to take notice of provocative Indian actions along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary.

Sep 06: Pakistan marked the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Indo-Pak war across the country with fervour and zeal. The day began with a 31-gun salute in the federal capital, and a 21-gun salute in provincial capitals. Then, at 9:29am, a minute’s silence was observed in the whole country in memory of the fallen heroes.

Sep 06: In a pointed response to his Indian counterpart’s threat of a short war, Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif said that his forces were fully ready to thwart any external aggression.

Sep 07: The Lahore High Court ordered Pemra and the Press Council of Pakistan (PCP) to ensure a complete blackout of all activities of MQM chief Altaf Hussain in both electronic and print media.

World in Focus 7

Sep 07: The army used for the first time the indigenously developed armed drone Burraq, killing three suspected terrorists in North Waziristan’s Shawal Valley.

Sep 07: Air Force Day was celebrated by unveiling a martyrs’ monument at the PAF Museum, and laying of a wreath on the grave of Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas Shaheed (Nishan-i-Haider).

Sep 07: PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari announced ending the politics of reconciliation towards the ruling PML-N, saying his party is a “party of resistance, not reconciliation”.

Sep 08: The Supreme Court restored the code of conduct issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to its original form. Under it, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and members of their cabinet will not be able to campaign for their candidates in the upcoming by–elections for two National Assembly seats, one in Lahore and the other in Lodhran,

Sep 08: The Supreme Court ordered the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) to proceed with an audit of the accounts of the Defence Housing Authority (DHA), Lahore.

Sep 08: President Mamnoon Hussain approved a plan to establish a cantonment in Swat as a permanent post for the army in the valley.

Sep 08: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar stripped the assembly secretary of his administrative and financial powers.

Sep 09: The National Command Authority (NCA) concluded that India’s rapidly growing nuclear programme and absence of a conflict resolution mechanism were upsetting strategic stability in the region and the situation was compelling Pakistan to maintain ‘full-spectrum deterrence capability’.

Sep 09: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) announced an investigation into allegations of corruption against Punjab Minister for Sports and Education Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan.

Sep 10: The military leadership asked the federal and provincial governments to share their burden under the ongoing National Action Plan (NAP) by activating special courts set up under the Protection of Pakistan Act (PPA), 2014, and putting in place measures necessary to stop money falling into the hands of terrorists.

Sep 10: Heads of the border guards of India and Pakistan began a three-day meeting in New Delhi, which looks primed to work out new strategies to effectively restore tranquillity to the working boundary in Jammu and Kashmir.

Sep 10: Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali was sworn in as chief justice of Pakistan. He will serve on the august post for 15 months and will retire on Dec 31 next year.

Sep 10: The United States made it clear that it recognises the Durand Line as an international border.

Sep 10: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly incorporated an amendment to bring the provincial assembly within the purview of the Right to Information (RTI) Act which had previously been omitted when the law was passed in June.

Sep 10: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered to carry out a special and commercial audit of the Nandipur project forthwith.

Sep 10: An Accountability Court disqualified PPP member of the Sindh Assembly Syed Ali Nawaz Shah for 10 years and also sentenced him to a 10-year jail term for his involvement in a fraud case.

Sep 11: The United Nations in Pakistan launched Wall Campaign to celebrate its 70th anniversary by sharing messages of peace and tolerance on walls of schools.

Sep 14: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated a 24km realigned patch of the Karakoram Highway, with five tunnels, restoring a road link with China that had been cut after a massive landslide blocked the Hunza River and created the Attabad Lake in January 2010.

Besides the 7km-long Pakistan-China Friendship Tunnels, the rebuilt highway includes two bridges and 78 culverts.

Sep 15: The Jamaat-i-Islami’s candidate in a by election in Upper Dir district for a Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Assembly seat lost to his PPP rival.

Sep 15: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced a relief package of Rs341 billion to revive the farm sector.

Sep 15: US President Barack Obama included Pakistan and India on a list of 22 drug-producing or major drug-transit countries that “significantly affect the United States”.

Other countries on the list are Afghanistan, The Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Burma, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.

Sep 15: A Senate standing committee directed the Ministry of Information Technology to unblock YouTube at the earliest.

Sep 15: Only a minority of children are growing healthily in Pakistan, which is estimated to have more than half the children under the age of five to be stunted or wasted, says the Global Nutrition Report 2015.

The report has come at a time when the United Nations member states plan to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a few days.

Sep 15: Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed was elected as Parliamentary Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Chairman in its maiden meeting held at the Parliament House.

Economy

Aug 24: The KSE-100 index came crashing down by 1,419 points, or 4.11 per cent, to settle at 33,100 points and in the process wiped off Rs270 billion from the paper value of corporate Pakistan.

Aug 25: The Asian Development Bank approved a provisional assistance package of at least $1.2 billion per year on average for Pakistan, covering 2015-19 period focusing on infrastructure upgrades and institutional reforms.

Aug 26: The FBR asked withholding agents to stop advance tax deduction from individual proprietorship taxpayers registered in the Active Taxpayer List (ATL) even if the name of the business is different from that of the owner.

Aug 27: An MoU for the establishment of the Pakistan Stock Exchange by merging the Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad exchanges, was signed in Islamabad.

Sep 02: Pakistan and Iran agreed to consider linking the latter with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in an effort to strengthen border markets and upgrade road and railway networks.

Sep 07: Afghanistan emerged as the third largest importer of Pakistani products, after the United States and China, as its imports from the country stood at $1.69 billion in 2014-15.

Sep 09: Four leading financial institutions of Pakistan were placed in the top five Islamic banks of the region, as per the South Asian Financial Disclosure Index ranking.

Pakistan-based Meezan Bank and Bangladesh-based Social Islamic Bank are positioned at the top of Islamic financial institutions in South Asia with scores 63 and 56, respectively.

They are closely followed by Bank Islami (55), Faysal Bank (55) and MCB Bank (55). More, importantly, Meezan Bank ranked 10th in the top 15 global Islamic banks.

Sep 12: The State Bank of Pakistan slashed the policy interest rate by 50 basis points to six per cent.

World in Focus 6

APPOINTMENTS & TRANSFERS

Aug 19: The government appointed Tasawar Khan as Chief of Protocol, State of Pakistan. He has assumed the charge in place of Moeen-ul-Haq who has proceeded for training.

Aug 19: Director General Public Relations Punjab Athar Ali Khan was posted as director public relations to the chief minister.

Aug 19: Brigadier (R) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar was appointed as the new President of Pakistan Hockey Federation.

Aug 25: President Mamnoon Hussain approved the prime minister’s advice for confirmation of Justice Nazar Akbar, Justice Mrs Ashraf Jehan, Justice Shahnawaz Tariq, Justice Abdul Maalik Gaddi, Justice Muhammad Junaid Ghaffar and Justice Zafar Ahmad Rajput as additional judges of the Sindh High Court.

Aug 31: The newly-appointed chief judge of Supreme Appellate Court Gilgit-Baltistan Justice Dr Rana Shamim Ahmad Khan took oath of his office. Gilgit-Baltistan Governor Barjees Tahir administered the oath.

Sep 02: Three additional judges were sworn in as permanent judges of the Balochistan High Court (BHC).

BHC Chief Justice Mohammad Noor Meskanzai administrated the oath to Justices Shakeel Ahmed, Mohammad Ejaz Swati and Muhammad Kamran Mulalchail.

Sep 09: Major General Nadeem Zaki Manj assumed charge of the office of Director General Military Intelligence (DG MI) at the GHQ. The strategically important slot fell vacant when Major General Sarfraz Sattar was transferred to Sialkot as General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 8th Infantry Division.

SPORTS

Aug. 16: Pakistan’s top golfer, Shabbir Iqbal, retained the title in the 17th Sindh Open Golf Championship.

Aug 19: The ICC allowed banned duo of ex-captain Salman Butt and fast bowler Mohammad Asif to return to the game from Sept 2.

Aug 20: President of the Pakistan Hockey Federation Akhtar Rasool stepped down.

Aug 20: Pakistan taekwondo black-belt holder Ahmad Amin Bodla broke the Guinness World Record for most squat thrusts in one minute with 40 pounds weight on his back.

Bodla did 23 repetitions while the previous record was of 21 by Paddy Douyle of England.

Aug 21: World renowned boxing champion Amir Khan promised to groom at least one gold medallist in a year time from Pakistan after establishment of Boxing Academy, the MoU of which was signed with the PSB.

Sep 02: Former Pakistan captain Shahbaz Ahmed Senior was named the new Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary following the resignation of Rana Mujahid.

Sep 07: Pakistan’s weightlifter Talha Talib clinched a silver medal in the Commonwealth Youth Games at Samoa.

Sep 07: Mukhtar Ahmed scored a record-breaking 123 off 67 deliveries, the highest individual score in domestic T20s in Pakistan.

Sep 09: Pakistan won another silver medal in weightlifting at the Fifth Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa when Abdul Rehman came second in the 77kg category.

Sep 15: Peshawar defeated Karachi Blues’ to retain the National T20 title.

World in Focus 5

ENERGY

Aug. 17: A landmark agreement was signed to finance Pakistan’s first open-pit coal mine in the natural-resource-rich Tharparkar district, which boasts holding 180 billion tonnes of coal.

A consortium of local banks that include HBL, UBL and Bank Alfalah will lend $500 million (Rs50 billion) to Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC), a joint venture between Sindh government and five private companies.

Aug 18: Nepra granted permission to Fatima Transmission Company Limited (FTCL) for constructing and owning transmission facilities. Under the license, FTCL would setup a 37 km long transmission line for evacuating 120MW electricity from generation facilities, to supply to a number of Bulk Power Consumers.

Aug 20: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the K-2 power project at the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (Kanupp). The plant, the largest in the country, will generate 1,100MW electricity upon completion.

Sep 11: The government signed an agreement with the Korean Mira Power Limited for materialising the financing of around $320 million for the construction of 102 megawatts Gulpur hydropower project.

PEOPLE IN NEWS

Shahid Afridi

Aug. 16: Shahid Afridi was named in the list of top 20 athletes in the world for 2015, devoting time and finances for charity work.

Anam Mashood

Aug 19: Anam Mashood, daughter of Mashood Ahmad, was accorded membership of the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS), Atlanta, USA over demonstrating hard work, sacrifice, commitment and exceptional level of academic excellence in her O-Level examinations.

Waqas Ali

Aug 19: Waqas Ali, a student from Mirpur Mathelo in Ghotki district, bagged a bronze medal for PowerPoint 2013 at the MOSWC 2015 held in Dallas, Texas.

Ali was the only participant from Pakistan at the 14th Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship (MOSWC), which attracted 600,000 participants this year, all competing to demonstrate their mastery of various Microsoft Office products.

Muhammad Humza Shahzad

Aug 20: Muhammad Humza Shahzad, a six-year-old British Pakistani computer genius, passed three Microsoft exams to become the first child of this age in the world to do so.

From May to July 2015, Humza passed MS Word 2013, MS PowerPoint 2013 and MS Excel 2013.

Malala Yousafzai

Aug 21: Malala Yousafzai, the youngest person to win the Nobel peace prize, got six A* grades, the highest possible, and four A’s, the second highest, in her GCSEs, a set of important exams taken by teenagers in Britain.

Laraib Atta

Aug 27: Attaullah Khan Esakhelvi’s daughter Laraib Atta emerged as the country’s youngest VFX artist to take on Hollywood. She had worked as visual effects artist on projects like Gravity, Sweeney Todd, Prince of Persia and Godzilla.

Maj Gen Muhammad Tayyab Azam

Sep 04: The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of Maj Gen Muhammad Tayyab Azam, who is currently Inspector General of the Frontier Corps, as the force commander of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (Minurso). Maj Gen Azam will succeed Maj Gen Major Imam Edy Mulyono of Indonesia.

Misbahul Haq

Sep 04: Pakistan Test Cricket Team’s captain Misbahul Haq made it into Guinness Book of World Record for cracking fastest hundred last year against Australia in Abu Dhabi.

PLACES IN NEWS

United Nations

Aug 19: The Security Council held a debate on “Regional Organisations and Contemporary Challenges of Global Security”.

Kathmandu

Aug 20: The Seventh Saarc Finance Ministers’ Conference was held in Kathmandu. Speaking at the conference, Pakistan’s Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar, called for further liberalising the financial regimes by the Saarc governments to boost intra-regional capital flows.

Kabul

Sep 04: Pakistan’s Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz went on a day-long trip to Afghanistan. The Afghan President Ashraf Ghani conveyed mixed signals on resumption of rapprochement.

Lahore

Sep 10: The three-day International Poultry Expo (IPEX 2015) kicked off at the Expo Centre with the participation of 200 foreign delegates.

Charminar Chowrangi

Aug 22: Charminar Chowrangi in Karachi’s Bahadurabad area grabbed the 6th place on the list of the world’s most beautiful roundabouts, issued by a UK based Roundabout Appreciation Society.

While drivers seldom pay attention to the roundabout, a beautiful, architecturally innovative roundabout is sure to catch your attention and make a humdrum daily drive more interesting.

World in Focus 4

OBITUARIES

Aug 21: A renowned Punjabi writer and language activist Surjit Singh Kalra died. Kalra was born in Douglaspura, Faisalabad, in 1933.

Aug 27: Justice (retd) Zafar Hussain Mirza, the father of former Sindh home minister Zulfiqar Mirza, passed away.

Sep 01: Senior lawyer Abdul Hafeez Pirzada passed away. He was 80.

Sep 06: Seasoned horticulturist Abdul Karim Khan, popularly known as A.K. Khan, passed away. He was 96.

International

Aug 16: An aircraft with 54 people on board crashed in Indonesia’s remote and mountainous region of Papua.

Aug 17: Mountain glaciers in Central Asia have shrunk four times faster than the world average, threatening river flows, vital for agriculture and hydro power from Uzbekistan to western China.

Global warming is likely to quicken the thaw in the vast Tien Shan range in coming years, melting half the remaining ice by the 2050s according to the study led by the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences.

Aug 18: Russian President Vladimir Putin burnished his action man image by diving down in a mini-submarine to explore a shipwreck off the coast of the Crimea peninsula that Moscow seized from Ukraine last year.

Aug 18: Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa conceded defeat in Sri Lanka’s parliamentary elections after it became clear that the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG), led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, got a clear-cut lead.

Aug 18: For the fifth year running, the Australian city Melbourne emerged as the world’s most liveable city as per the annual Liveability Ranking study of 140 cities, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The city is followed by Austrian capital Vienna and Vancouver, Canada, which came out top in 2011.

Aug 18: In line with procedure, Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to return to him the mandate he received from the president on July 9 to begin coalition talks with opposition parties. This meeting is a formal acknowledgement that he cannot form a coalition government, paving the way for new elections.

Aug 19: Addyi, the first drug to treat low sexual desire in women, won approval from US health regulators, but with a warning about potentially dangerous low blood pressure and fainting side effects, especially when taken with alcohol.

Aug 19: The self-styled Islamic State (IS) beheaded Khaled al Assaad, the retired chief archaeologist of Palmyra, an ancient city in Syria.

Aug 19: Cochin International Airport in the Indian state of Kerala became the first-ever airport in the world to operate entirely on solar power when Kerala’s Chief Minister Oommen Chandy inaugurated the 12 MWp solar power plant.

The airport’s solar power plant, comprised over 46,000 solar panels spread over 45 acres of land. It is capable of producing 50,000 to 60,000 units of electricity per day.

Aug 20: Indifference is to blame for Europe’s biggest migrant crisis since World War II, the Red Cross chief told AFP, urging the world to “wake up” to the real extent of the problem.

The dramatic rise in the number of migrants and refugees flooding into the European Union in recent months was predictable and expected, said Elhadj As Sy, head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

Aug 20: Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras submitted his resignation to President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, hoping to strengthen his hold on power in snap elections after seven months in office in which he fought Greece’s creditors for a better bailout deal.
Aug 20: South and North Korea traded artillery fire across their heavily militarised border.

Aug 21: Russia and China started joint military drills off the Russian city of Vladivosktok in the waters and airspace of the Sea of Japan.

Aug 21: A Taliban ambush on Afghan Vice-President Abdul Rashid Dostum’s convoy back-fired when the war-hardened leader’s men fought back, killing at least four militants and capturing a dozen more.

Aug 22: Italy’s coastguard and navy rescued more than 1,200 migrants in the Mediterranean after responding to multiple distress calls from 18 overcrowded vessels carrying an estimated total of 2,000-3,000 people.

Aug 22: Israeli leaders planned to attack military targets in Iran in recent years, but they were held back due to the opinions of other governments and military leaders, according to a leaked audio recording.

Aug 22: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani unveiled the country’s latest domestically-produced surface-to-surface missile, the Fateh (Winner) 313 ballistic missile which has a 500-kilometre range and features more advanced sensors and technology.

Aug 22: Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie, who has already been sentenced to death, was handed another life term in prison for an attack on a police station.

Aug 23: Britain’s foreign secretary reopened his country’s embassy in Tehran in a long-awaited step signalling better relations four years after a mob stormed the compound, forcing its closure.

Aug 24: The destruction of Palmyra’s ancient temple of Baalshamin, in Syria, was termed a war crime by Unesco, the UN’s cultural agency.

Aug 25: The United States imposed sanctions on Abdul Aziz Haqqani, a brother of the network’s leader Sirajuddin, adding him to its terrorist blacklist.

Aug 25: Not all disputes between India and Pakistan are linked to terrorism, says the United States while urging the two neighbours to resume their formal dialogue.

Aug 25: A group of wildfires blazing in the western US state of Washington became the largest in the state’s history, and 2015 has become the state’s worst fire year on record.

Aug 26: Two television journalists were shot and killed in Virginia while conducting a live interview.

Aug 26: Physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking proposed in a statement that humans could escape from black holes instead of getting stuck in them.

Challenging earlier theories, Hawking said that “if you feel you are in a black hole, don’t give up. There’s a way out.”

Speaking at a conference in Stockholm, Hawking said that although travellers won’t be able to return to their own universe they may escape to another one.

This theory could also mean that humans might not necessarily disappear into a black hole if they fall into one, instead, they may remain on the edge in the form of a hologram or fall out somewhere else.

Aug 27: Kazakhstan and the UN nuclear watchdog signed a deal to create the first internationally-controlled uranium bank aimed at guaranteeing supplies for power plants and curbing nuclear proliferation.

The bank, which will be administered by the International Atomic Energy Agency and is expected to open in 2017, will contain low-enriched uranium (LEU).

Aug 27: People around the world are living longer, but many are also living sicker lives for longer, according to a study of all major diseases and injuries in 188 countries. General health has improved worldwide, thanks to significant progress against infectious diseases as HIV/AIDS and malaria in the past decade and gains in fighting maternal and child illnesses. But healthy life expectancy has not increased as much, so people are living more years with illness and disability.

Aug 28: Russia successfully launched a Proton-M rocket carrying an Inmarsat-5 F3 communications satellite from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Aug 29: An Egyptian court sentenced three Al Jazeera reporters, Canadian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed and Australian journalist Peter Greste, who was tried in absentia, to three years in prison.

Aug 30: Saudi Arabia allowed women to register to stand in local elections, in a historic first for the conservative kingdom.

Aug 31: India’s Jain community scored a legal victory when the Supreme Court temporarily lifted a ban on the traditional ritual of Santhara, or fasting to death.

Sep 01: China’s President Xi Jinping welcomed Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir who has been indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court as an “old friend of the Chinese people”. Bashir was among the foreign heads of state attending a huge military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II.

Sep 03: China announced to cut 300,000 troops to streamline its vast army, at a spectacular WWH anniversary parade where it put its military might on display but pledged to work for world peace.

Sep 03: For the first time in 32 years, a Tamil lawmaker, Rajavarothiam Sampanthan, became leader of the opposition in Sri Lanka’s parliament.

Sep 03: Guatemalan President Otto Perez resigned and turned himself into a court to face charges in a corruption scandal.

Sep 03: More than 13 million children are being denied an education by Middle East conflicts, the UN said, warning “the hopes of a generation” would be dashed if they cannot return to classrooms.

In a report on the impact of conflict on education in six countries and territories across the region, the United Nation’s children fund (Unicef) said more than 8,850 schools were no longer usable due to violence.

Sep 03: The United States, Russia, China, Britain and France closed ranks and gave a deadly blow to the aspirants of a permanent seat in the expanded UN Security Council, by refusing to contribute to a reform text in the UN General Assembly dealing with expansion issue.

For the G-4 countries—India, Brazil, Japan and Germany—it is a major setback while for the Uniting for Consensus Group (UFC), led by Italy and Pakistan, it is a vindication of their position.

Sep 04: Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, called upon the European Union to admit 200,000 asylum-seekers fleeing conflict zones like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

World in Focus 3Sep 05: Jean-Marie Le Pen, the expelled founder of France’s National Front (FN), launched a new party, adding fuel to a family feud that has dogged his daughter Marine’s campaign to become president.

Sep 06: Al Shabaab took control of a populous town in central Somalia after African Union forces left the area.

Sep 07: Britain and France joined Germany in pledging to accept tens of thousands of refugees.

European leaders are scrambling for solutions as bloody conflicts in Syria, Iraq and beyond have sent hundreds of thousands of desperate people on dangerous voyages through the Balkans and across the Mediterranean to the 28-nation EU.

Sep 07: US National Security Adviser Susan Rice informed her counterpart Sartaj Aziz on her recent visit to Islamabad that the US was putting together a new military alliance from ‘Sahel to South Asia’, to take up the fight against the IS.

Sep 07: A report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) revealed that some 13,000 Palestinian structures in the West Bank are currently under Israeli demolition orders.

Sep 07: Austrian President Heinz Fischer travelled to Iran, becoming the first European head of state to visit the country since 2004.

Sep 08: France will contribute 25 million euros to a global “action plan” for the protection of minorities in the Middle East that are persecuted by the Islamic State group (IS) and other extremists.

Sep 09: The EU unveiled plans to take 160,000 refugees from overstretched border states, as the United States said it would accept more Syrians to ease the pressure from the worst migration crisis since World War II.

Sep 09: The United States added an Algerian Islamist Abu Obaida Yusuf al-Annabi who once called for a global “jihad” against France, to its terror blacklist.

Sep 09: Guinea-Bissau’s prime minister announced his resignation, just two days after his government was sworn in, plunging the chronically unstable African nation deeper into a simmering political crisis.

Sep 11: The number of people aged 100 and above has hit 60,000 in Japan this year.

Sep 11: The United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to allow Palestine flag to fly at United Nations headquarters. Of the 193 UN members, 119 voted in favour.

The flag will be hoisted at the UN headquarters on Sep 30 when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will come to address the General Assembly.

Sep 15: Afghan Taliban announced end to their bitter succession dispute as family of their late supremo Mullah Omar pledged allegiance to the group’s new chief, Mullah Akhtar Mansour.

Sep 15: The New York Times announced to sponsor a fellowship in honour of David Carr, the media columnist and reporter who died this year. The David Carr Fellow will spend two years in the Times newsroom “covering the intersection of technology, media and culture”.

ECONOMY

Aug 24: Global stock markets plunged and commodity prices hit new lows extending a Chinese-led rout, fed by fears of a damaging slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy.

Chinese stocks have tumbled since peaking in mid-June and authorities have launched broad interventions to try to restrain the drops, but Beijing’s latest market intervention has failed to restore confidence.

Sep 07: President Barack Obama ordered government contractors to offer their workers seven days of paid sick leave a year. The White House said it would affect some 300,000 people.

Sep 08: Indonesia made an official request to rejoin the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec). Resource-rich Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy, was part of Opec for almost 50 years until suspending its membership in 2009 after becoming a net oil importer.

Sep 10: South Asian economies stand to lose around 1.3 per cent of their collective annual GDP by 2050 even if global temperature increases are kept to 2 degrees Celsius, experts and public officials warn.

In the second half of the century, the losses are likely to increase to around 2.5pc of GDP, warns an analysis by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

But if temperature increases are allowed to rise above 2 degrees Celsius, losses will mount to 1.8pc of GDP by 2050 and a staggering 8.8pc by 2100, according to the analysis.

Sports

Aug 16: China’s Chen Long won a second straight world title with a pulsating victory against Malaysian Lee Chong Wei while women’s world number one Carolina Marin of Spain beat India’s Saina Nehwal at the badminton world championships.

Aug 17: Britain’s Andy Murray beat Novak Djokovic of Serbia in a draining final of the Rogers Cup.

Aug 17: Swiss teen Belinda Bencic outlasted Simona Halep to win WTA Rogers Cup final.

Aug 22: Mohamed Farah made history when he defended his 10,000m title at the world championships. This is Farah’s sixth consecutive global track distance title, an unprecedented feat that saw him better the likes of Ethiopian legends Kenenisa Bekele and Haile Gebrselassie.

Aug 23: Swiss ace Roger Federer won his seventh Cincinnati Masters title, dominating Serbian Novak Djokovic. Federer claimed his 87th career ATP title and his 24th trophy in a Masters 1000 event.

Aug 23: Jamaican Usain Bolt trumped American rival Justin Gatlin to retain his world 100m title in spectacular style.

Aug 29: Australia secured their first Women’s Ashes victory in England in 14 years with a ruthless bowling display in the second T20 in Hove.

Aug 29: Teddy Riner of France won the gold medal in the over 100kg category at the world judo championship in Astana, defeating Ryu Shichinohe of Japan in the final.

Aug 29: Mo Farah became the first man to win back-to-back world distance doubles when he stormed to 5,000 metres victory at Beijing’s Bird’s Nest stadium.

Sep 01: India won the final Test by 117 runs to end a 22-year wait for a series win on the island.

Sep 10: England’s disabled cricket team beat Pakistan by 19 runs in the final of the inaugural ICRC International T20 Disabled Cricket Tournament.

Sep 13: Wimbledon champions Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza captured their second consecutive Grand Slam women’s doubles crown, defeating Casey Dellacqua and Yaroslava Shvedova in the US Open final.

Sep 14: World number one Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer in four dramatic sets to win his second US Open and 10th Grand Slam title.

ELECTIONS & APPOINTMENTS

Aug 21: Ranil Wickremesinghe, chief of the United National for Good Governance (UNFGG), was sworn in for a fourth term as Sri Lanka’s prime minister.

Aug 21: Tavengwa Mukuhlani was elected as chairman of Zimbabwe Cricket after defeating interim chairman Wilson Manase.

Aug 23: Sudan appointed Awad al-Karim Ibnouf as country’s new defence minister, three days after President Omar Hassan al-Bashir proposed a two-month ceasefire with rebels fighting to overthrow his government.

Aug 27: Greece’s top judge, Vassiliki Thanou, became the country’s first female prime minister, taking over a caretaker administration.

Aug 29: For the first time in the history of Turkey, Aysen Gurcan, a woman who wears an Islamic headscarf was named as a government minister.

The 52-year-old academic, Aysen was appointed to be the minister in charge of family and social policies.

Sep 08: Japan’s governing Liberal Democratic Party re-elected Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as its president. Mr Abe will remain party leader for a second three-year term.

Sep 15: Malcolm Turnbull, a former investment banker and lawyer, was sworn in as prime minister of Australia, after defeating Tony Abbott in a vote of Liberal Party lawmakers.

PEOPLE IN NEWS

World in Focus 2Ajinkya Rahane

Aug 16: Ajinkya Rahane set new record of most catches in a Test match by taking eight catches in the first Test match against Sri Lanka at Galle.

Lt Shaye Haver & Capt Kristen Griest

Aug 21: Capt. Kristen Griest and First Lt. Shaye Haver made history when they graduated as the first female Army Rangers in US military’s history. The two began their training alongside a total of 19 women and 381 men, and the class was whittled down to just Griest and Haver along with 94 men.

Ranger School pushes its students to their very limits through a gruelling 62-day training programme that restricts trainees’ food, water and sleep as they learn to lead “small unit combat operations” in adverse situations.

Wang Jianlin

Aug 25: China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, lost $3.6 billion in a single day after global stock markets tanked and Chinese markets erased all their gains for the year.

Calvin Harris

Aug 25: Scotland’s Calvin Harris topped a Forbes list of the world’s highest paid DJs, earning an estimated $66 million in an annual payday.

Novak Djokovic

Aug 28: Top-ranked Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic was appointed as a goodwill ambassador for the UN children’s agency, Unicef. The world No. 1 men’s player has worked on children’s issues for Unicef in his native Serbia since 2011.

Taylor Swift

Aug 31: Taylor Swift was crowned queen of the MTV Video Music Awards.

Pop superstar Swift, still only 25 years old, won four of her whopping 10 nominations, including Video of the Year for “Bad Blood” with Kendrick Lamar and Best Pop Video for “Blank Space”.

Mariam Malak

Sep 07: Thousands came forward in support of an Egyptian student who failed all her exams and was given the lowest possible grades in a suspected case of corruption. Star student Mariam Malak achieved the highest or close to highest scores in all her previous exams, becoming one of Egypt’s top-ranked students.

Wayne Rooney

Sep 09: Wayne Rooney broke Sir Bobby Charlton’s record at Wembley Stadium to become England’s all-time record goal-scorer.

Jeremy Corbyn

Sep 12: Jeremy Corbyn, a veteran left winger who professes an admiration for Karl Marx, was elected leader of Britain’s opposition Labour party.

Gennady Padalka

Sep 12: Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka returned safely to Earth with the record for having spent the most time in space. Padalka had spent a total of 879 days in space over five separate trips.

Sheikh Hasina Wajid

Sep 14: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh was named as one of the winners of the United Nations Champions of the Earth award in recognition of her country’s initiatives to address climate change.

Ms Aqeela Asifi

Sep 15: Ms Aqeela Asifi, a 49-year-old teacher who fled Afghanistan with her family in 1992, won the Nansen Refugee Award, the UNHCR’s prestigious award, for the brave and tireless dedication to education of Afghan refugee girls.

PLACES IN NEWS

Cairo, Egypt

Aug 18: Leading Muslim clerics met in Cairo for two-day conference on training for Muslim scholars and coordination on issues of Islamic law. The participants called for moderation in issuing religious edicts, in an attempt to counter extremist fatwas that sanction jihadist atrocities.

Moscow, Russia

Aug 25: The six-day International Aviation and Space Salon, or MAKS, show was opened near Moscow. King of Jordan and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi were among the most notable guests.

Tokyo, Japan

Aug 28: Japan kicked off the two-day “World Assembly for Women” conference, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledging to shake up a corporate culture at home that discriminates against female workers.

Tokyo played host to the Conference with Liberian President and Nobel laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Marillyn Hewson, chief executive of US defence and aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, among the speakers.

Durban, South Africa

Sep 02: The South African city of Durban was selected as the host for the 2022 Commonwealth Games at the Federation’s general assembly in New Zealand.

The coastal city was the only bidder for the multi-sports event after the Canadian city of Edmonton withdrew from contention.

Beijing, China

Sep 03: China put on its biggest display of military might in a parade to commemorate the defeat of Japan in World War II. In his opening speech, President Xi Jinping paid tribute to the Chinese people who “unwaveringly fought hard and defeated aggression” from Japan. More than 12,000 troops, mostly Chinese but with contingents from Russia and elsewhere, marched through Beijing’s central Tiananmen Square.

Kabul, Afghanistan

Sep 03: The Regional Economic Cooperation Conference (RECCA) which brings together officials from more than 30 nations and 40 international organisations opened in Kabul.

Paris, France

Sep 08: An international conference on religious and ethnic minorities was held in Paris, France. Speaking at the event, which gathered some 60 countries and representatives of around 15 NGOs, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced to contribute 25 million euros to a global “action plan” for the protection of minorities in the Middle East being persecuted by the Islamic State group (IS) and other extremists.

WEIRD

Aug 31: An Egyptian muezzin Mahmud al Moghazi was suspended by the authorities after being accused of intoning “Prayer is better than Facebook” in his early morning call for people to pray.

Sep 15: Zimbabwe’s 91-year-old President Robert Mugabe read out the wrong speech at the opening of parliament. Mugabe had delivered the same speech during a state of the nation address on Aug 25, in which he pinned his hopes on China to help revive Zimbabwe’s struggling economy.

ENERGY

Aug 30: An Italian energy group discovered the largest known gas field in the Mediterranean off the Egyptian coast, predicting that the find could help meet Egypt’s gas needs for decades to come.

The Italian company said the offshore “Zohr” field could hold 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, covering an area of about 100 square kilometres.

OBITUARIES

Aug 16: Julian Bond, a US civil rights activist and the former board chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, has died. He was 75.

Aug 18: Suvra Mukherjee, the wife of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, passed away.

The Indian president’s deceased wife was known to be a talented painter who had a number of group and solo exhibitions to her name. Mrs Mukherjee had also authored two books.

Aug 22: Former Australian opener Arthur Morris, a member of Don Bradman’s 1948 ‘Invincibles’ team, died aged 93.

Aug 23: Jacob Bekenstein, a physicist who prevailed in an argument with Stephen Hawking that revolutionized the study of black holes, and indeed the nature of space-time itself, died in Helsinki, Finland. He was 68.

Aug 25: The British Formula One racer Justin Wilson, a friend to many in the grand prix paddock, succumbed to head injuries suffered in a US Indy Car race.

Aug 30: Renowned neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks, who explored the mysteries of the human brain in a series of best-selling books, died at age 82.

Aug 30: Francis Sejersted, a Norwegian historian, who as the chairman of the Nobel Peace Prize committee presided over several controversial awards, including the one shared by the Israeli leaders Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin and the Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat, died. He was 79.

Aug 31: Wes Craven, the prolific writer-director who thrilled audiences with iconic and bloody suburban slashers like “Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Scream” that made his name synonymous with horror, died at 76.

Sep 03: US actor Dean Jones, star of “The Love Bug” and other offbeat Disney hits, died. He was 84.

Sep 06: India’s famous composer/singer Aadesh Shrivastav, passed away after fighting a tough battle against cancer for over 40 days.

Sep 07: Dr J. Donald Millar, a physician and former public-health official whose work helped eradicate smallpox in Africa and with it, the world, died. He was 81.

World in Focus 1

National MCQs

1. Lt General (retd) Hamid Gul served as the director general of ISI between March 29, 1987 and October 4,______.

(a) 1987        (b) 1988
(c) 1989        (d) 1992

2. On Aug 17, Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja took oath as the ______ Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP).

(a) 21st        (b) 22nd
(c) 23rd        (d) 24th

3. Senator Mushahidullah Khan, who resigned from his post on Aug 17, was the Federal Minister for ______.

(a) Food Security    
(b) Climate Change

(c) Information Technology

(d) Overseas Pakistanis

4. The Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC), a joint venture between Sindh government and five private companies, was established in ______.

(a) 2009        (b) 2011
(c) 2014        (d) 2015

5. On Aug 17, an agreement was signed to finance Pakistan’s first open-pit coal mine in Sindh’s ______ district.

(a) Jamshoro    (b) Tharparkar
(c) Thatta    (d) Badin

6. On Aug 18, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) launched a five-month drug prevention campaign in ______ districts of Sindh.

(a) 9        (b) 13
(c) 18        (d) 21

7. On Aug 18, Bol TV was taken over by the ______.

(a) Geo News
(b) ARY Digital Network
(c) Express Media Group
(d) Dawn Media Group

8. On ______, Nepra granted permission to Fatima Transmission Company Limited (FTCL) setting up a 37km long transmission line.

(a) Aug 16    (b) Aug 17    
(c) Aug 18    (d) Aug 20

9. The Deosai National Park in Gilgit-Baltistan is the second highest altitude plateau of the world after Chang Tang in ______.

(a) Nepal        (b) Tibet
(c) China        (d) Bhutan

10. On Aug 19, the government appointed Tasawar Khan as Chief of Protocol, State of Pakistan replacing ______.

(a) Moeen-ul-Haq
(b) Ali Ansar Zaidi
(c) Syed Musawwir Abbas Shah
(d) Rahim Hayat Qureshi

11. On Aug 19, Director General Public Relations ______, Athar Ali Khan, was posted as director public relations to the chief minister.

(a) Punjab    (b) Sindh
(c) Khyber PK    (d) Balochistan

12. On Aug 19, Pakistan signed an agreement with ______ for purchase of heavy attack helicopters MI-35 ‘Hind’.

(a) Russia    (b) China
 (c) S. Korea    (d) Turkey

13. On Aug 20, the Seventh Saarc Finance Ministers’ Conference was held in ______.

(a) Islamabad    (b) Kathmandu
 (c) Dhaka    (d) New Delhi

14. On Aug 20, the government notified the setting up of special economic zones in ______ under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

(a) Gilgit-Baltistan   (b) Sindh
 (c) Balochistan         (d) Khyber PK

15. On Aug 20, the Prime Minister inaugurated the K-2 power project, which will generate ______ electricity upon completion, at the Kanupp.

(a) 1,000MW    (b) 1,100MW
 (c) 1,400MW    (d) 2,000MW

16. On Aug 21, Prime Minister approved the name of ______ as the chief judge of Gilgit-Baltistan Supreme Appellate Court.

(a) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar
 (b) Chaudhry Arif Husain
 (c) Dr Rana Muhammad Shamim
 (d) Justice (R) Khawaja M. Sharif

17. Anjela Kearney is the current country representative of ______ Pakistan.

(a) Unesco    (b) Unicef
 (c) UNHCR    (d) WHO

18. On Aug 25, the ______ approved a provisional assistance package of at least $1.2 billion per year on average for Pakistan.

(a) International Monetary Fund
 (b) World Bank
 (c) Asian Development Bank    
 (d) Islamic Development Bank

19. On Aug 27, an MoU for the establishment of the Pakistan Stock Exchange by merging the Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad exchanges, was signed in ______.

(a) Lahore    (b) Karachi
 (c) Murree    (d) Islamabad

20. On Aug 28, the US Department of Defence awarded a $57 million contract to ______ to provide Ah-1Z Viper attack helicopters to Pakistan.

(a) Brantly International
 (b) Bell Helicopter
 (c) Piasecki Aircraft
 (d) Airbus Helicopters

21. On Aug 31, a full house of the ______ High Court imposed a ban on airing anti-state speeches of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Altaf Hussain.

(a) Sindh        (b) Balochistan
 (c) Lahore    (d) Peshawar

22. On Sep 04, Pakistan’s first online portal and database about labour inspection, which has been developed by the ______, was launched.

(a) Japan        (b) IMF
 (c) ILO        (d) ADB

23. On Sep 04, the Secretary General of the UN appointed Pakistan’s Maj Gen Muhammad Tayyab Azam as the force commander of the UN Mission for the Referendum in ______ (Minurso).

(a) W. Sahara    (b) Chad
 (c) Burkina Faso     (d) South Sudan

24. On Sep 07, Pakistan Army used for the first time the indigenously developed armed drone ______.

(a) Ghazb    (b) Barq
 (c) Raad        (d) Burraq

25. Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Museum, the biggest Museum of PAF to exhibit planes, fighter jets, weapons & Artillery, is located in ______.

(a) Peshawar    (b) Karachi
 (c) Islamabad    (d) Sargodha

26. On Sep 07, ______ emerged as the third largest importer of Pakistani products, after the United States and China.

(a) Afghanistan    (b) India
 (c) Japan        (d) UK

27. On Sep 08, the President of Pakistan approved a plan to establish a cantonment in  ______ as a permanent post for the army in the valley.

(a) Tirah        (b) Swat    
 (c) Shawwal    (d) Shangla

28. The Chairman of Pakistan’s National Command Authority (NCA) is ______.

(a) President of Pakistan
 (b) Chief of Army Staff
 (c) Prime Minister of Pakistan
 (d) DG Strategic Plans Division

29. The incumbent Director General Military Intelligence (DG MI) is _____.

(a) Maj Gen Sarfraz Sattar
 (b) Maj Gen Nadeem Zaki Manj
 (c) Maj Gen Irfan Elahi
 (d) Maj Gen Shahadat Khan

30. Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali was sworn in as the 24th Chief Justice of Pakistan on ______.

(a) Sep 10    (b) Sep 12
 (c) Sep 14    (d) Sep 16

31. On Sep 15, US President Barack Obama included ______ and India on a list of 22 drug-producing or major drug-transit countries that “significantly affect the United States”.

(a) Pakistan    (b) Bangladesh
 (c) Nepal        (d) Thailand

32. On Sep 15, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed was elected as the ______ of Parliamentary Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

(a) Chairman    (b) Secretary
 (c) Coordinator    (d) Convener

International

1. Papua is a remote and mountainous region of ______.

 (a) Myanmar    (b) Indonesia
 (c) Malaysia    (d) Vietnam

2. According to the annual Liveability Ranking 2015, Australian city ______ is the world’s most liveable city.

(a) Adelaide     (b) Perth
 (c) Melbourne    (d) Canberra

3. Anatolia is the state news agency of ______.

(a) Spain     (b) Turkey
 (c) Italy        (d) Mexico

4. On Aug 19, the self-styled Islamic State (IS) beheaded Khaled al Assaad, the retired chief archaeologist of ______.

(a) Palmyra    (b) Bosra
 (c) Damascus     (d) Dead Cities

5. On Aug 19, Cochin International Airport in the Indian state of ______ became the first-ever airport in the world to operate entirely on solar power.

(a) Goa         (b) Jharkhand
 (c) Kerala    (d) Karnataka

6. International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is headquartered at ______.

(a) Amsterdam     (b) The Hague
 (c) Geneva    (d) Rome

7. Prokopis Pavlopoulos is the current president of ______.

(a) Norway    (b) Spain
 (c) Belgium    (d) Greece

8. On Aug 21, Russia and ______ started joint military drills off the Russian city of Vladivosktok in the waters and airspace of the Sea of Japan.

(a) Sweden ‎    (b) China
 (c) India        (d) Japan

9. On Aug 21, Ranil Wickre-mesinghe, chief of the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG), was sworn in for a _____ term as Sri Lanka’s prime minister.

(a) First        (b) Second
 (c) Third        (d) Fourth

10. Abdul Rashid Dostum is currently the ______ of Afghanistan.

(a) Prime Minister
 (b) Vice-President
 (c) Defence Minister
 (d) Finance Minister

11. On Aug 22, Iran unveiled the country’s latest surface-to-surface missile named ______.

(a) Zelzal     (b) Fateh
 (c) Sejjil        (d) Ashoura

12. On Aug 24, ______ termed the destruction of Palmyra’s ancient temple of Baalshamin in Syria as a war crime.

(a) Unicef    (b) ICJ
 (c) UNSC        (d) Unesco

13. On Aug 25, the US imposed sanctions on Abdul Aziz Haqqani, a ______ of the network’s leader Sirajuddin Haqqani.

(a) Son-in-law     (b) Brother
 (c) Son        (d) Cousin

14. Helsinki is the capital of ______.

(a) Finland    (b) Croatia
 (c) Mauritius    (d) Swaziland

15. World-famous physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking belongs to ______.

(a) Australia    (b) US
 (c) UK        (d) Sweden

16. On Aug 27, ______ top judge, Vassiliki Thanou, became the country’s first female prime minister.

(a) Norway’s     (b) Greece’s
 (c) Austria’s     (d) France’s

17. On Aug 27, ______ and the UN nuclear watchdog, IAEA, signed a deal to create the first internationally-controlled uranium bank.

(a) Germany    (b) Kazakhstan
 (c) Switzerland    (d) Turkmenistan

18. “World Assembly for Women” conference was held in ______.

(a) Tokyo    (b) Oslo
 (c) Washington    (d) Geneva

19. The Baikonur Cosmodrome is located in ______.

(a) Turkmenistan    (b) Uzbekistan
 (c) Russia    (d) Kazakhstan

20. On Aug 29, an Egyptian court sentenced three ______ reporters to three years in prison.

(a) BBC        (b) Al Jazeera
 (c) CNN        (d) AFP

21. The Bird’s Nest is a stadium in ______.

(a) London    (b) Vienna
 (c) Beijing    (d) Auckland

22. On Aug 30, ______ allowed women to register to stand in local elections.

(a) Saudi Arabia    (b) Afghanistan
 (c) Oman    (d) Niger

23. On Aug 30, an Italian energy group discovered the largest known gas field in the Mediterranean off the ______ coast.

(a) Qatar    i    (b) Iranian
 (c) Egyptian    (d) Cuban

24. In August 2015, Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America, was renamed as ______.  

(a) Sally        (b) Dickey
 (c) Fairbanks    (d) Denali

25. On Sep 02, Pakistan agreed to consider linking ______ with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

(a) Yemen    (b) Iran
 (c) Oman    (d) Afghanistan

26. The Regional Economic Cooperation Conference (RECCA) 2015 was held in ______.

(a) Kabul    (b) Chittagong
 (c) New Delhi    (d) Kathmandu

27. The United States is putting together a new military alliance from ‘Sahel to South Asia’, to take up the fight against the _____.

(a) Boko Haram    (b) Taliban
 (c) IS        (d) Al-Qaeda

28. On Sep 07, ______ President Heinz Fischer travelled to Iran, becoming the first European head of state to visit the country since 2004.

(a) Norway’s    (b) Germany’s
 (c) Spain’s     (d) Austrian’s

29. On Sep 08, Indonesia made an official request to rejoin the _____ from which it was suspended in 2004.

(a) Asean    (b) OPEC
 (c) ADB        (d) APEC

30. On Sep 08, ______ announced to contribute 25 million euros to a global “action plan” for the protection of minorities in the Middle East.

(a) Canada    (b) France
 (c) The Holy See    (d) UK

31. On Sep 11, the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to allow ______ flag to fly at United Nations headquarters.

(a) Aceh’s      (b) Palestine’s
 (c) Chad’s    (d) Vatican’s

32. On Sep 15, Malcolm Turnbull, a former investment banker and lawyer, was sworn in as prime minister of ______.

(a) Greece    (b) Austria
 (c) Canada    (d) Australia

Sports

1. On Aug 17, ______ teen Belinda Bencic outlasted Simona Halep to win WTA Rogers Cup final.

(a) Russian    (b) British
 (c) Swiss        (d) French

2. On Aug 20, ______ was appointed as the President of the Pakistan Hockey Federation.

(a) Akhtar Rasool
 (b) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar
 (c) Shahbaz Senior
 (d) Rana Mujahid

3. On Aug 20, Pakistan taekwondo black-belt holder ______ broke the Guinness World Record for most squat thrusts in one minute.

(a) Amin Ahsan
 (b) Slaman Rashid
 (c) Iftikhar Sahi
 (d) Ahmad Amin Bodla

4. On Aug 22, ______ Mohamed Farah made history when he defended his 10,000m title at the world championships.

(a) Nigeria’s    (b) Uganda’s
 (c) Algeria’s    (d) Britain’s

5. The record of highest individual score in domestic T20s in Pakistan is held by ______.

(a) Mukhtar Ahmed
 (b) Salman Butt
 (c) Shahid Afridi
 (d) Rana Naveed-ul-Hassan

6. On Sep 14, Novak Djokovic beat ______ in four sets to win his second US Open and 10th Grand Slam title.

(a) Andy Murray      (b) Rafael Nadal
 (c) Roger Federer      (d) David Ferrer

7. On Sep 15, ______ defeated Karachi Blues to retain the National T20 title.

(a) Lahore Lions    (b) Peshawar
 (c) Lahore Blues    (d) Pindi Rams

Obituaries

1. The wife of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, Mrs Suvra Mukherjee, who passed away on Aug 18, was a talented ______.

(a) Painter    (b) Singer
 (c) Actor        (d) Writer

2. On Aug 27, Justice (R) Zafar Hussain Mirza, the ______ of Zulfiqar Mirza, passed away.

(a) Father    (b) Brother
 (c) Cousin     (d) Father-in-law

3. On Aug 30, Francis Sejersted, a ______ historian who has served as the chairman of the Nobel Peace Prize committee, died.

(a) Norwegian    (b) Swede
 (c) Canadian    (d) French

4. Senior lawyer Abdul Hafeez Pirzada passed away on ______.

(a) Aug 28    (b) Aug 30
 (c) Sep 01    (d) Sep 05

5. On Sep 06, Pakistan’s seasoned ______ Abdul Karim Khan passed away at the age of 96.

(a) Geologist    (b) HorticulturistWorld in Focus 
 (c) Lawyer    (d) Historian

 

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