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World In Focus (March-April 2015)

World in Focus

 National, International News & MCQs

National

Mar 16: A day after the suicide attacks on two churches in Lahore, the Punjab government called in Rangers to control the law and order situation in the city.

Mar 16: The ECP announced appointment of 50 returning officers (ROs) and 100 assistant returning officers for holding local government elections for 43 cantonment boards.

Mar 16: The process of IDPs return began from the Kaur Qila transit camp in Tank district.

World in Focus 1Mar 16: For implementation of the first stage of the 2,160-megawatt Dasu Hydropower Project, Wapda signed two agreements for relocation of Karakoram Highway (KKH) and construction of Right Bank Access Road in the project area.

Mar 16: Brigadier Zahid Khan, in-charge of the military operation in Bara region of Khyber Agency announced a successful conclusion of the Operation Khyber-I.

Mar 17: Police booked MQM chief Altaf Hussain on terrorism charges on a complaint of a senior official of Rangers Sindh.

Mar 17: Advocate Samiullah Afridi, a former counsel of Dr Shakil Afridi, was shot dead.

Mar 17: The ministry of Railways  set up a Project Management Unit (PMU) to retrieve and commercialise its prime property under possession of provinces, private firms and individuals.

Mar 17: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) restored Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) Chairman Saeed Ahmed Khan.

Mar 17: The government of Pakistan officially barred its officials from using Viber Mobile application for being sponsored, handled and used for spying by Israeli Defence Forces.

Mar 18: President Mamnoon Hussain deferred the execution of Saulat Mirza, an MQM worker.

Mar 18: Justice Shams Mahmood Mirza of the Lahore High Court allowed doctors of armed forces to take part in elections of College of Physicians and Surgeons Paksitan (CPSP), however, barred them from wearing uniform during the election process.

Mar 19: A Supreme Court bench, which comprised Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja and Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany, ruled that the Muslim Personal Law did not vest husbands with the right to casually deny the paternity of children bore to them by their wives.

World in Focus 2Mar 19: National Transmission and Despatch Company Limited (NTDCL) signed energy purchase agreements with three wind power producers with a cumulative capacity of 129.5 megawatts.

Mar 19: United Nations’ Commission on Limits of Continental Shelf (UNCLCS) completed its review and accepted Pakistan’s claim for extension of its continental shelf limits, thereby extending Pakistan’s sea limits from 200 nautical miles to 350 nautical miles.

Pakistan’s seabed territory has grown by about 50,000 square kilometres.

Mar 20: The Unesco and the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (Comsats) signed a Memorandum of Understanding for collaboration on capacity-building programmes to be launched at the latter’s centres of excellence.

Mar 20: The government and PTI agreed to constitute an election inquiry commission.

Mar 21: The Commander of US Naval Forces Central Command, John W. Miller, acknowledged the contribution of Pakistan Navy for ensuring maritime peace in the region and said United States cannot succeed without support of Pakistan Navy.

Mar 21: The World Bank (WB) approved $187 million for a Sindh Irrigated Agricultural Productivity Enhancement Project (Siapep) to help improve irrigation water management at tertiary and field levels in the province.

Mar 22: Balochistan Governor Mohammad Khan Achakzai inaugurated Balochistan Sports Festival.

Mar 22: Federal Minister for Climate Change Mushahidullah Khan was elected chairman of the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection (GSLEP) programme after representatives of 12 countries voted in his favour.

Kyrgyzstan was elected co-chairman of the programme.

World in Focus Imran KhanMar 23: Pakistan exhibited its military prowess and rich cultural heritage at the Pakistan Day parade held in Islamabad at the new purpose-built venue, after a break of seven years.

Mar 25: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif approved expansion of the operation against militants and terrorists to other areas of Sindh.

Mar 25: Moody’s Investors Service upgraded the outlook on Pakistan’s foreign currency government bond (dollar bond) rating to positive from stable, as the country’s macroeconomic indicators showed improvement.

Mar 25: The Supreme Court disqualified Punjab Prisons Minister Chaudhry Abdul Waheed Arain for holding two national identity cards.

Mar 26: The Heathrow airport issued a “yellow card” (or warning) to PIA for allegedly violating laws of the United Kingdom.

Mar 26: The first shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar reached the shores of Karachi, carrying 148,517 cubic metres of the super-chilled fuel.

The LNG arrived at the Port Qasim LNG terminal in a Floating Storage and Re-gasification Unit (FSRU), a large ship with stores and converts LNG to gas which will now permanently dock at the Engro Elengy Terminal.

Mar 26: The Cabinet Committee on Privatisation approved strategic sale of 97 per cent shares of Heavy Electrical Complex (HEC) to Cargill Holdings Ltd for Rs905 million.

Mar 29: A PIA Boeing 747 Jumbo aircraft safely brought to Karachi 502 Pakistanis and a senior diplomat from the war-torn Yemeni city of Hodeida.

Mar 29: PPP leader Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan was appointed as the leader of the opposition in Senate for the second consecutive term.

Mar 29: PTI’s Barrister Sultan Mahmood defeated PPP’s Chaudhry Mohammad Ashraf in a nerve-racking by-election in the Mirpur area of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

Mar 30: The Lahore High Court declared that non-party local government elections being held in cantonment areas are unconstitutional and asked the Election Commission to hold the polls on party basis.

Mar 30: Riaz Riazuddin assumed charge as Deputy Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). The federal government notified his appointment on March 28, 2015 for a period of three years.

Mar 31: Repatriation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to North Waziristan started.

A caravan of 26 vehicles carrying 219 IDPs belonging to 62 families left Bannu for Spin Wam and Shahmeri in North Waziristan.

World in Focus 4Mar 31: The Annual General Council meeting of the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), was held whereby following office-bearers were unanimously elected:

Hameed Haroon: President
Rameeza Majid Nizami:
Senior Vice President
Mumtaz A. Tahir: Vice President
Sarmad Ali: Secretary General
Rahmat Ali Raazi: Joint Secretary
Humayun Tariq: Finance Secretary

Mar 31: The federal government reconstituted the Federal Film Censor Board. According to a notification issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the new board will consist of six official and 12 unofficial members.

Apr 01: The ruling PML-N and the PTI signed an MoU to constitute a judicial commission that will investigate allegations of rigging in the 2013 general elections.

Apr 01: The government ordered the dismissal of former Islamabad Senior Superintendent of Police Mohammad Ali Nekokara, over his refusal to use force against protesters on Constitution Avenue during last year’s sit-ins.

Apr 02: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif inaugurated the first of its kind modern model cattle market of Pakistan in Sheikhupura.

Apr 03: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu agreed to work together for a peaceful resolution of the crisis in Yemen.

Apr 03: President Mamnoon Hussain promulgated the Judicial Commission Ordinance 2015, for the formation of a commission that will investigate PTI’s allegations about widespread rigging in the 2013 general elections.

Apr 03: PML-N leader Amir Muqam, who was appointed Adviser to the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with the status of federal minister in October 2013, was given “responsibilities for the coordination and monitoring activities pertaining to ministries of water & power, petroleum and natural resources in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa”.

Apr 04: World Economic Forum (WEF) of Young Global Leaders announced the Young Global Leaders candidates for 2015, selecting four individuals from Pakistan for demonstrating their commitment to serve society.

The recipients of this award included: Zulfikar Ali Bader, CEO of Bader and Bader Law Firm; Abid Butt, CEO e2e Supply Chain Management; Ayla Majid, CEO of CAMCO; and Shamoon Sultan, owner of Khaadi.

Apr 04: The government and local tribesmen in Razmak subdivision inked a peace agreement in which the tribal elders pledged they would not allow terrorists to live there in future.

Apr 04: Punjab has the highest number of juvenile offenders in the country, with the bulk of them coming from the poverty-stricken and deprived areas of South Punjab, according to the first-ever joint report of Unicef and the Commissioner Children’s Complaint Office of Pakistan on the state of children in the country.

Apr 05: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena arrived in Pakistan on a three-day visit, his first to Pakistan.

World in Focus 5Apr 05: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif inaugurated the Khadim-e-Punjab Dehi Roads Programme, the biggest project of repair and construction of rural roads in the history of Pakistan.

Apr 06: Pakistan and Sri Lanka signed an agreement on civilian nuclear energy cooperation and signalled that bilateral ties would remain strong despite latter’s recent foreign policy reset. Sri Lanka is the first country in the region to have entered into such an agreement with Pakistan.

Apr 06: The Sindh government refused to give assent to the new energy policy of the federal government until issues of oil and gas pertaining to Sindh are resolved.

Apr 06: A division bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Amir Farooq, stopped the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) from functioning.

The authority had been dysfunctional since August last year.

Apr 06: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly unanimously passed a bill prohibiting bonded labour system in the province to prevent the economic and physical exploitation of the workers.

Apr 06: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) members returned to the parliament during the joint session of both upper and lower houses on the issue of Yemen conflict.

Apr 07: The US State Department approved Pakistan’s request for a billion dollars worth of military hardware and equipment.

Apr 07: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) directed the IGP Islamabad to register an FIR against former CIA station chief Jonathan Banks and legal adviser John A. Rizzo.

Apr 08: The Supreme Court of Pakistan constituted a three-judge commission to investigate allegations of rigging in the last general elections. Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Nasirul Mulk will head the inquiry commission. Justice Amir Hani Muslim and Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan are two other judges on the first-ever special judicial commission of the Supreme Court.

Apr 08: The federal government withdrew a petition seeking review of the Supreme Court’s October 19, 2012, judgement in the famous Asghar Khan case.

Apr 08: The Azad Jammu and Kashmir government declared 22 men as terrorists for their alleged involvement in acts of terrorism and put their names under the 4th schedule of the AJK’s Anti-Terrorism Act, 2014.

Apr 08: Standard Chartered Pakistan received its first National CSR Award. The bank was nominated and recognised for its contributions made in Pakistan under its global ‘Seeing is Believing’ initiative.

Apr 08: Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif arrived in Islamabad on a two-day official visit. After the meeting between Adviser on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, and the visiting dignitary, Pakistan and Iran called for all the stakeholders in the Yemeni crisis to display greater flexibility to end the present fighting by diplomatic channels and for moving towards a dialogue by using ‘foresight’ and ‘Islamic wisdom”.

Apr 09: The Lahore High Court (LHC) suspended the detention of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

World in Focus 6Apr 10: The parliament adopted a soft resolution, calling for Pakistan to remain neutral in the Yemen conflict, sidestepping Saudi Arabia’s demand for a military contribution to the Saudi-led coalition that is currently fighting Houthi rebels.

Apr 10: The Election Commission of Pakistan announced that the minimum age for a candidate contesting the upcoming local government elections was 21 years, whereas a candidate for seats reserved for youth should be aged from 21 years to 30 years.

Apr 10: The provincial assembly amended the law to empower the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ehtesab Commission to deal with corruption cases against the holders of public offices during the last over a decade period.

Apr 10: The Lahore High Court directed the Punjab Textbook Board (PTB) chairman to decide within a month about making fundamental rights of citizens enshrined in the Constitution an essential item of syllabus.

Apr 10: Zong signed an agreement with Daewoo Pakistan Express Bus Service to provide free Super 3G internet to all Daewoo passengers commuting along the motorway.

Apr 13: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reassured Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies over a parliamentary resolution that had called for neutrality in the Yemen conflict.

Apr 13: As part of the implementation of the National Action Plan, the Sindh Assembly unanimously passed a government bill into law for keeping a record of tenants and temporary residents in houses, hotels, guest houses and hostels across the province.

Apr 13: More than 25 million unverified and unclaimed mobile phone subscriber identity modules (SIMs) were blocked after a three-month deadline for biometric verification of 103m prepaid connections expired.

Apr 14: The London police extended the bail of MQM chief Altaf Hussain for three months.

Apr 14: The Supreme Court disqualified PTI’s MNA Ijaz Chaudhry for his involvement in human smuggling and holding a fake graduation certificate.

Apr 15: All religious sects in the federal capital will pray at the same time from May 1, 2015 and all mosques will call out the Azaan simultaneously.

The formal decision to adopt unified prayer timings was made, at a high level meeting chaired by the Religious Affairs Minister Sardar Mohammad Yousuf.

Apr 15: The Army Strategic Forces Command successfully tested the parameters of the nuclear-capable Ghauri missile.

Economy

Mar 16: The KSE-100 index crashed through the 32,500 points barrier to finish with a loss of 474.18 points or 1.44 per cent at 32,454.91.

Mar 17: Pakistan and Austria signed additional protocol amending the agreement on avoidance of double taxation (ADTA). FBR Chairman Tariq Bajwa and Austrian Ambassador Ms Brigitta Blaha signed the document.

Mar 27: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a three-year arrangement for providing $6.64 billion to Pakistan to support its economic reforms and growth.

The approval enables an initial disbursement of about $544.5 million while the remaining amount will be evenly disbursed over the duration of the programme, subject to the completion of quarterly reviews.

Apr 08: China further eased export of Pakistani agriculture produce, especially citrus and mangoes, by dropping the condition of pre-clearance.

Apr 09: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet decided to impose 17 per cent general sales tax (GST) on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and other imported gas while exempted the LNG terminal operator from income tax for five years.

Appointments & Transfers

World in Focus 7Mar 16: Air Vice Marshal Muhammad Salman was promoted to the rank of Air Marshal.

According to a PAF statement, Air Marshal Salman was commissioned in the Engineering Branch of Pakistan Air Force in September, 1982.

Mar 16: Two additional judges of the Peshawar High Court, Justice Mohammad Daud Khan and Justice Syed Afsar Shah, took oath as regular judges increasing the court’s strength to 14.

PHC Chief Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel administered the oath to the two judges.

Mar 18: Syed Wamiq Bokhari was appointed Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Pakistan Petroleum Ltd (PPL) from March 16, 2015.

Mar 24: President FPCCI Mian M. Idrees appointed Dr Mirza Ikhtiar Baig as Chairman of Pak-UAE Business Council of FPCCI for 2015.

Mar 29: Big Bird Group of Companies Founder Chairman Abdul Basit was appointed as the Punjab Board of Investment & Trade (PBIT) chairman. Basit is currently on board of Punjab Agriculture and Meat Company, TEVTA and member of the Pakistan-France Business Alliance as well.

Mar 30: Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik took oath as chief justice of the Lahore High Court (LHC). Acting governor Rana Iqbal administered the oath to Justice Malik.

Mar 31: President FPCCI Mian M. Idrees appointed Ishtiaq Baig as Chairman Pak-Morocco Business Council of FPCCI for 2015. Ishtiaq Baig is a leading industrialist and Consul General of Kingdom of Morocco. In recognition of his services, he was also conferred Moroccan National Award “Wisan Alavi” by the King of Morocco.

Apr 10: The government appointed Air Marshal Saeed Muhammad Khan as the Vice Chief of the Air Staff of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). Meanwhile, the government promoted Air Vice Marshal Muhammad Ashfaque Arain to the rank of Air Marshal.

Apr 10: Holding the Supreme Court verdict in her favour, Dr Shahnaz A. Riaz rejoined the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) as its director general.

Education

World in Focus 8Mar 18: American Ambassador to Pakistan Richard G. Olson inaugurated the Lincoln Corner, Quetta, at the law college of the University of Balochistan and gifted a set of 150 books for the facility.

Mar 30: Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif launched a new phase of Schools Reforms Roadmap “Parho Punjab Barho Punjab”. In the new phase, school students would have to give correct answers to at least 85 per cent questions in examinations which would help improve standard of education and abilities of students.

Apr 10: The ECNEC meeting chaired by the finance minister approved PM laptop scheme under which 4,00,000 computers will be distributed over a period of four years among the deserving students across the country.

Sports

Mar 16: The Fourth Snow Jeep Rally 2015 competitions were held at the Shahi Ground in the Kalam valley of Swat district.

Mar 16: Lahore district won the 3rd Punjab Women Junior and Senior Power-lifting Championship.

Lahore took the title with 64 points and was followed by Gujranwala District with 44 points at second, Rawalpindi was third with 31 points. Amna Rasheed of Lahore District won gold medal for having lifted highest weight 265 kg.

Mar 22: Chestnut colt Spartan won the feature event during the Lahore Winter Meeting at the Racecourse.

Mar 22: First day’s leader Ghazanfar Mehmood won the 15th Sindh Amateur Golf Championship at the Karachi Golf Club.

Mar 22: Five-year-old bay horse Hot Man won the Pakistan Day Cup at the Karachi Racecourse.

Mar 23: Mubashar Ali won the 40-kilometre Pakistan Day cycle race, conducted by Punjab Cycling Association.

Mar 30: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) appointed Azhar Ali as captain of the One-day International team with Sarfraz Ahmed as his deputy while Haroon Rasheed replaced Moin Khan as chief selector.

Apr 04: Pakistan’s Maria Toorpakai defeated South Africa’s Siyoli Waters to clinch the second Bahria Town International Women Squash Championship.

Apr 05: Liaquat All smashed the national 200m record to help Pakistan Army retain their men’s title while Wapda completed a successful defence of their women’s crown at the 46th National Athletics Championships.

Apr 14: Wapda beat PIA (Whites) in a thrilling final of the 10th Nishan-e-Haider Hockey Tournament.

Obituaries

World in Focus 9Mar 19: Renowned Urdu, Punjabi and English poet, Majid Siddiqui, passed away.

Mar 22: Popular TV actress Aneela Ijaz died of brain tumour. She was 42.

Mar 23: Veteran leader of the left movement, Tahira Mazhar Ali, passed away.

Mar 28: Senior journalist Yawar Hanif passed away at 50.

Mar 29: Sardar Nasir Ali Jamali, the nephew of former prime minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, died.

Apr 04: Seasoned journalist Asad Abbas Sahi died at 48.

Apr 15: The father of former chief minister KP Ameer Haider Khan Hoti and a veteran politician and ANP leader, Senator Mohammad Azam Khan Hoti passed away. He was 69.

People in News

Bilal Haye

Mar 17: Polo player Bilal Haye earned the Rising Talent Award in the National Polo Championship.

Syed Nadeem Shah

Mar 18: An appreciation certificate was presented to the Honorary Consul General of Japan in Balochistan Syed Nadeem Shah by the Consul General of Japan in Karachi, Akira Ouchi.

Waheed Ali Panhwar
Mar 19: A Sindh University zoology scholar Waheed Ali Panhwar unearthed five new species of tettigonioidea (Ensifera), commonly known as grasshopper, existing in Pakistan.

Saeed Ajmal
Mar 24: Pakistani off-spinner Saeed Ajmal was conferred a medal of Sitara-e-Imtiaz of Pakistan over his outstanding and dazzling performances in cricket.

World in Focus 10Dr Sajid Mushtaq
Mar 26: Dr Sajid Mushtaq, Consultant Pathologist and Head of Pathology Department, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, was nominated Country Advisor –Pakistan for The Royal College of Pathologists, UK.

Insha Afsar
Mar 27: Insha Afsar, a girl who lost her left leg up to her hip in the devastating earthquake of 2005, hit the news when she started tearing down the giant slalom course at Loon Mountain as she competed for a top position in the US Paralympic Alpine National Championships.

Hamza Amin
Apr 07: Leading professional golfer Hamza Amin became the first Pakistani to qualify for one Asia Golf Tour that includes the  high profile major Australian Open to be held in Sydney in November 2015.

Mullah Fazlullah
Apr 08: A committee of the UN Security Council imposed sanctions on the banned TTP chief Mullah Fazlullah, the mastermind of the Peshawar school massacre, for perpetrating and financing terror acts.

Hina Jilani
Apr 09: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appointed a seven-member panel of external experts, including prominent lawyer Hina Jilani, to conduct an interim independent assessment of the system of administration of justice at the United Nations.

Malala Yousufzai
Apr 10: An asteroid was named after Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousufzai.

Amy Mainzer, astronomer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory who discovered the asteroid, named it after Malala because “although many asteroids have been named, very few have been named to honour the contributions of women (and particularly women of colour),” she explained.

Reham Khan
Apr 12: The KP provincial government appointed Reham Khan, the wife of PTI chief Imran Khan, as ambassador for street children.

Places on News

Islamabad
A seminar on ‘Future Security Outlook of South Asia: Trends and Challenges’ was organised, on March 18, by Centre for International Strategic Studies — an Islamabad-based think tank — and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung of Germany.

Karachi
Apr 08: A grand congregation of religious scholars was organised at the Sheikh Zayed Islamic Centre of Karachi University.

Islamabad
Apr 08: The fifth round of political consultations between Pakistan and Oman was held at the Foreign Office in Islamabad. Delegates from both countries agreed to further strengthen cooperation, particularly in the fields of economy, trade, manpower, defence and security.

International

Mar 16: China eased ahead of Germany and France to become the world’s number three arms exporter after the United States and Russia, a Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) report revealed.

Mar 16: An Egyptian court condemned to death Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie and 13 other senior members of the banned movement.

Mar 17: UN officials recorded a sharp spike this year in the amount of heroin being seized from passengers trying to fly from Afghanistan to India.

In January alone, officials intercepted 44 kilograms of heroin from Afghan airports in eight separate cases, compared to 50 kilograms of heroin and hashish seized during the whole of last year, according to United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime data.

Mar 18: Benjamin Netanyahu swept to a stunning election victory, securing a third straight term for an Israeli leader who has deepened tensions with the Palestinians and infuriated key ally Washington.

Mar 18: Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen, the world’s highest-earning model for the past eight years, retired from the catwalk at age 34.

Mar 18: Kalashnikov-wielding gunmen killed at least 22 foreign tourists in a brazen attack on Tunisia’s national museum.

Polish, Italian, German and Spanish tourists were among the dead, Prime Minister Habib Essid said.

Mar 20: Without reforms, the world will be plunged into a water crisis that could be crippling for hot, dry countries, the United Nations warned.

In its annual World Water Development Report, the UN said that abuse of water was now so great that on current trends, the world will face a 40-per cent “global water deficit” by 2030, the gap between demand for water and replenishment of it.

Mar 22: President Maithripala Sirisena formed a ‘national government’ by expanding his Council of Ministers and inducting 26 MPs from the main opposition party, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).

Mar 22: Sri Lanka’s new government conferred the highest military rank of field marshal on retired army chief Sarath Fonseka, who had been jailed for alleged treason by the previous regime.

Mar 22: The Commissioner General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Pierre Krähenbühl, reopened a school Khuza’a Elementary Co-ed A&B school which has over 1,100 students, in eastern Khan Younis area of Gaza Strip.

Mar 23: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with Indonesian President Joko widodo to forge tighter economic and defence ties, as Tokyo works to court friends in the face of a rising China.

Mar 24: During a joint press conference with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, US President Barack Obama announced not to reduce US troop levels in Afghanistan by the end of this year, despite an earlier pledge to do so.

Mar 24: India’s top court struck down a controversial law that made posting “offensive” comments online a crime punishable by jail, a ruling which free speech campaigners hailed as a victory. The court said the 2009 amendment to India’s Informed Technology Act, widely criticised as a draconian limit on freedom of speech, was unconstitutional.

Mar 25: Zayn Malik left boy band One Direction but the group will continue without him.

Mar 25: The Moroccan city of Marrakech, home to some of the world’s most beautiful mosques, was named the world’s best city by Trip Advisor. Known as the “Jewel of the Desert,” the bustling city climbed five places to claim bragging rights to the top spot.

Mar 26: Warplanes from a Saudi-led coalition bombed Shia Houthi militants in Yemen in support of Yemen’s embattled president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Mar 26: The United States launched air strikes in and around Tikrit to oust Islamic State militants from the Iraqi town.

Mar 26: The wars in Syria and Iraq, as well as armed conflicts, human rights violations and deteriorating security and humanitarian conditions elsewhere, have pushed the number of people seeking asylum in industrialised countries to the highest level since 1992, a new UN report said.

Mar 26: Japan successfully launched a replacement spy satellite.

Mar 26: Turkey reopened a restored century-old synagogue built during the Ottoman Empire but closed for several decades, which Ankara says should become a symbol for the coexistence of different religious communities on Turkish territory.

Mar 26: Diplomat Vikas Swarup, whose best-selling debut novel was turned into Oscar-winning movie “Slumdog Millionaire”, was appointed India’s new foreign ministry spokesman.

Mar 27: A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying three crew, including a US astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut who will be the first to spend an entire year on the International Space Station, blasted off on schedule.

Mar 27: The Republican-led US Senate approved a 2016 budget blueprint, one that would balance federal spending in 10 years without raising taxes, trim trillions of spending dollars and repeal “Obamacare.”

Mar 27: Nigeria’s military troops retook the town of Gwoza from Boko Haram, from which the group declared their rule last year.

Mar 28: China and Kazakhstan signed 33 deals worth $23.6 billion covering areas from hydropower to steel.

The agreements were reached during a visit by Kazakhstan Prime Minister Karim Masimov to China after a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

Mar 28: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s brother, Priyantha Sirisena, died of injuries he suffered in an axe attack.

Mar 30: Myanmar peace negotiators agreed the draft text of a historic nationwide ceasefire agreement, as the country edges closer to ending decades of conflict between ethnic minority groups and the government.

Mar 30: Irina Bokova, Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) launched at Baghdad University Unite 4 Heritage, a social media campaign to counter the propaganda of cultural cleansing in Iraq and other crisis-torn countries.

Mar 30: Uzbek strongman Islam Karimov cruised to a new five-year term after winning more than 90 per cent of the vote.

Mar 31: Facebook moved into its new Frank Gehry-designed headquarters in Silicon Valley, with a rooftop park and “the largest open floor plan in the world”.

Mar 31: The leader of the disputed government in Tripoli, Omar al-Hassi, was sacked by the Libyan parliament.

Mar 31: Three decades after seizing power in a military coup, Muhammadu Buhari became the first Nigerian to oust a president through the ballot box, putting him in charge of Africa’s biggest economy and one of its most turbulent democracies.

Mar 31: Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the creation of a new government agency to oversee ethnic issues. The proposed agency will “implement measures directed at fortifying the unity of the Russian nation”.

Mar 31: Taiwan’s largest-ever missile ship went into service as the island strives to modernise its military in response to a perceived threat from China.

Apr 01: President Barack Obama created the first-ever sanctions programme to penalise overseas hackers who engage in cyber spying and companies that knowingly benefit from the fruits of that espionage, potentially including state-owned corporations in Russia and China.

Apr 01: Palestine formally joined the International Criminal Court, a move the Palestinians hope could open the door to the possible prosecution of Israelis for alleged war crimes.

The accession was marked at a closed-door ceremony at ICC headquarters in The Hague, exactly 90 days after Palestine joined the court’s founding Rome Statute.

Apr 01: Thailand’s ruling junta announced to lift martial law, in place across the country since just before a coup 10 months ago.

Apr 02: Iran and world powers agreed on the framework of a potentially historic deal aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear programme after marathon talks in Switzerland.
US President Barack Obama welcomed the “historic understanding” with Iran but cautioned more work needed to be done.

Apr 02: Hannah Robert, a US defence contractor pleaded guilty to secretly providing parts and drawings for nuclear submarines and fighter aircraft to India.

Apr 02: Yemeni rebels seized President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s palace in his former southern stronghold Aden, dealing a symbolic blow to the self-exiled leader despite Saudi-led air strikes.

Apr 02: The Muslim and Christian populations could be nearly equal by 2050, with Islam expected to be the fastest-growing faith on the planet, according to the Pew Research Center’s religious profile predictions.

Apr 02: At least 147 people, mostly students, were killed in an assault by al-Shabab militants on a university in north-eastern Kenya. Heavily armed attackers stormed Garissa University early, killing two security guards then firing indiscriminately on students.

Apr 05: The world’s largest particle smasher, “The Large Hadron Collider (LHC),” was restarted in Geneva after a two-year upgrade that will allow physicists to explore uncharted corners of the matter that makes up the universe.

Apr 07: Iran was approved as a founding member of the Beijing-backed Asian Infrastructure Bank (AIIB).

Apr 07: X.J. Kennedy, 85, a highly regarded poet, editor and educator, won $50,000 Jackson Poetry Prize.

Apr 07: A new study by two noted US jurists revealed that 94 per cent of Muslims prosecuted and sentenced by the US government in post-9/11 terrorism cases, including Dr Aafia Siddiqi, were innocent and fell prey to a government policy of ‘pre-emptive prosecution to exaggerate the threat of Muslim extremism to the country’s security’.

Apr 07: Turkey and Iran agreed on the need for a political solution to Yemen’s war, which has raised tensions between them.

Apr 08: A group of 11 Indians was rescued by a Pakistani ship from Yemen and were sent to India on a Pakistani Air Force plane. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for the humanitarian gesture.

Apr 08: Human Rights Watch filed a suit alleging the US Drug Enforcement Administration illegally collected records of its phone calls to foreign countries for years.

Apr 08: The Red Juma Mosque, located in Russia’s Tomsk region was reopened for worship after 90 years. The mosque was first opened in 1901 but was seized and closed in the 1920s to be used as a cinema and then a restaurant that served alcohol.

Apr 09: IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde confirmed that Greece had made a crucial 459 million euro ($495m) payment to the Fund.

Apr 09: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rightwing government, traditionally wary of grassroots social activism, moved against the Indian unit of Greenpeace, freezing its accounts and withdrawing its licence to raise foreign funds.

Apr 09: France’s TV5Monde television channel was forced to shelve its regular programming after falling victim to an “unprecedented” hack by militants of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS). The channel’s website and social networks were also hacked.

Apr 10: Indian government ordered 36 Rafale fighter jets from France in a multi-billion euro agreement that has been years in the making.

Apr 11: Bangladesh authorities hanged Mohammad Kamaruzzaman, a top Jamaat-e-Islami leader.

Apr 11: US President Barack Obama and Cuba’s Raul Castro heralded a new era of bilateral relations as they both addressed a landmark Summit of the Americas ahead of historic one-on-one talks.

Sitting around an oval table with some 30 other regional leaders in Panama City, Obama and Castro spoke one after the other in an unprecedented public exchange between the leaders of the Cold War-era foes.

Apr 12: Hillary Clinton launched her bid to become the first woman to win the White House, and announced a campaign tour to showcase her support for “everyday Americans”.

Apr 13: President Vladimir Putin lifted a ban on supplying Iran with sophisticated S-300 air defence missile systems after Tehran’s landmark outline deal with the West over its nuclear programme.

Apr 13: In Riyadh, Yemen’s Prime Minister Khaled Bahah was sworn in as vice president at the country’s embassy in front of exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Apr 13: China’s former state assets chief Jiang Jiemin — one of the highest-profile casualties of the country’s anti-graft drive and an ally of ex-security chief Zhou Yongkang — confessed to corruption at his trial.

Apr 13: Taiwan’s bid to become a founding member of China’s new regional development bank was rejected.

Apr 14: The United Nations Security Council imposed arms embargo on the Houthi rebels in Yemen and blacklisted a Houthi leader and a son of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The vote was 14-0, with Russia abstaining.

Apr 14: The United Nations appointed British actor Daniel Craig as the first global advocate for the elimination of mines and explosive hazards.

Craig who has been filming his fourth movie as the dapper, martini-drinking agent 007 will spend the next three years raising awareness for the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and political and financial support for the cause.

Apr 14: US President Barack Obama notified Congress that he has proposed removing Cuba from Washington’s list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Apr 15: Canada’s prime minister announced a breakthrough deal to supply uranium to India.

The supply agreement was signed in Ottawa during a visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi the first Indian leader to visit Canada in 42 years.

Apr 15: Poverty, gender discrimination and violence are keeping more than 12 million children in the Middle East out of school, despite efforts to expand education, the UN children’s agency warned.

An additional three million children in Syria and Iraq have been forced out of school by conflict, Unicef said in a new report.

Sports

Mar 19: Canada’s 26-year-old Dustin Cook won his first super-G race at the season-ending World Cup finals.

Mar 21: New Zealand opener Martin Guptill sent the records tumbling by striking a World Cup record of 237 not out.

Mar 23: Novak Djokovic defeated Roger Federer to successfully defend his Indian Wells crown and claim his 50th career ATP title

Mar 27: Colin Munro’s 281 off 167 balls, which contained a first-class record of 23 sixes, set up Auckland’s victory by an innings and 64 runs against Central Districts in Napier.

Mar 29: A ground record crowd of 93,013 watched the World Cup final between Australia and New Zealand at the Melburne Cricket Ground.

Mar 29: Australia’s Richie Porte won the Tour of Catalunya after Alejandro Valverde won the seventh and final stage of the race.

March 29: Australia defeated New Zealand by seven wickets in the World Cup final to win a record fifth World Cup, and their fourth in the last five tournaments. No other country has won more than twice.

Mar 30: Pakistani and Indian players failed to find a place in the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) team of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 with Brendon McCullum as its captain.

Mar 30: Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi won a spectacular Grand Prix of Qatar.

Apr 01: The president of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Mustafa Kamal resigned, claiming he was snubbed at the presentation ceremony after World Cup final in Melbourne.

Apr 01: New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum was named the winner of the Sir Richard Hadlee Medal for 2014-15, while Kane Williamson swooped up the awards for Twenty20 international player of the year, as well as the Red-path Cup for First Class batting at the New Zealand Cricket Awards in Auckland.

Apr 05: World number one Chen Long defeated his illustrious teammate Line Dan to win his maiden Malaysia Open title.

Apr 05: Alexander Kristoff became the first ever Norwegian to win the prestigious Tour of Flanders as he beat Dutchman Niki Terpstra in a sprint finish.

Apr 06: World number one Novak Djokovic roared home in a win over Andy Murray to claim a fifth Miami Masters title.

Apr 06: Martina Hingis of Switzerland and India’s Sania Mirza won the Butch Buchholz Trophy after defeating Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina of Russia in the doubles final at the Miami Open.

Apr 11: Jordan Spieth completed the greatest 36-hole start in Masters history, firing a six-under par 66 at Augusta National that matched him for the lowest halfway total in any major.

The 21-year-old American stood on 14-under 130 after two rounds, a bogey-free giving Spieth a Masters midpoint record-matching five-stroke lead over compatriot Charley Hoffman.

Obituaries

Mar 20: Former Australian prime minister Malcolm Fraser, who served as the nation’s leader from 1975 until 1983, died at the age of 84.

Mar 22: Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first prime minister and architect of the tiny Southeast Asian city state’s rapid rise from British tropical outpost to global trade and financial centre, died aged 91.

Mar 26: Steven Smith, a tea company founder who helped transform the America’s tea-drinking habits as much as any American since that party in Boston Harbor in 1773, died. He was 65.

Mar 27: Swedish poet Tomas Transtroemer, who won the 2011 Nobel Prize for Literature, died at the age of 83.

Apr 01: A Japanese woman Misao Okawa, who was the world’s oldest person, died, a few weeks after celebrating her 117th birthday.

Apr 05: Barbara Bergmann, a pioneer in the study of gender in the economy who herself overcame barriers to women in the world of academic economics, died. She was 87.

Apr 10: Former Australian captain Richie Benaud, whose peerless commentary made him the beloved “voice of cricket” to fans around the world, died aged 84.

Apr 12: The brother of China’s last emperor — who was pushed off the throne in 1912, ending the Qing dynasty — died in Beijing at the age of 96.

Puren — who took the Chinese name Jin Youzhi — was the youngest sibling of the final Qing monarch Puyi.

Apr 13: Guenter Grass, the Nobel Prize-winning author died. He was 87.

Apr 14: Soul singer Percy Sledge, best known for his recording of “When a Man Loves a Woman,” died at age 74.

Apr 14: Eduardo Galeano, the Uruguayan writer who blended literature, journalism and political satire in reflecting on the vagaries, injustices and small victories of history, died. He was 74.

Places in News

Beijing, China
Mar 17: US statesman Henry Kissinger, who spearheaded efforts to end Cold War hostility between Washington and China more than four decades ago, met President Xi Jinping that the two powers were now in a position to set the global agenda.

The 91-year-old diplomat and strategist is renowned for leading secret negotiations that led to staunch anti-communist President Richard Nixon’s landmark 1972 visit to the People’s Republic and his meeting with Mao Zedong.

Kissinger, a former Harvard professor and the author of numerous books on diplomacy and international relations, was awarded the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize with Hanoi’s Le Duc Tho for Paris peace negotiations that paved the way for an end to the Vietnam War, although the North Vietnamese Politburo member declined the honour.

Abu Dhabi
The 16th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health, a global anti-tobacco initiative, was held at Abu Dhabi on March 17-21, 2015 where the countries were urged to take steps to reduce the consumption of tobacco, a leading cause of disease and death worldwide.

Boao
Mar 28: 2015 Boao Forum for Asia was held in Boao, on the southern Chinese island of Hainan. Addressing the Forum, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that turmoil at home or abroad were not in the country’s interests as its bitter past has shown.

Srinagar
April 4: Asia’s largest Tulip garden on the banks of Dal Lake in Srinagar was thrown open to visitors. Formerly known as Siraj Bagh, the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip garden is spread over an area of 12 hectares. Opened in 2008, the garden in the foothills of Zabarwan Range has a total of 1.5 million tulips.

Panama
Apr 11-15: The Seventh Summit of the Americas was held in Panama City, Panama.

People in News

Tad Smith
Mar 17: Sotheby’s appointed Tad Smith, a businessman with a background in the entertainment, sport and media industries, to replace the departing chief executive, William F. Ruprecht.

Ashima Shiraishi
Mar 18: A 13-year-old American girl Ashima Shiraishi shattered two world records when she became the youngest person and the only woman to have ever mastered one of the most technically challenging climbs in the world namely Open Your Mind Direct, a 140-foot climb that is rated a 9a + and is considered one of the toughest rock faces to master.

Fawad Ahmed
Mar 22: Pakistan-born refugee Fawad Ahmed broke a domestic first-class cricket finals record in Australia, taking eight wickets for 89 runs for Victoria state in the Sheffield Shield final against Western Australia.

Sisa Abu Daooh
Mar 23: An Egyptian woman Sisa Abu Daooh, who had to dress as a man to get work, was hailed as an “exemplary working mother” by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi who awarded her a cash prize of 50,000 pounds.

Laila Naim
Mar 24: Laila Naim celebrated her fourth birthday on March 8, 2014 and simultaneously made it to celebrity status in Pakistan for being the youngest and only model of Pakistani origin to make it to an international fashion campaign, in this case, Burberry.

Dolly Shivani Cherukuri
Mar 24: Before her third birthday, Dolly Shivani Cherukuri from the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, India set a new national record in archery. Dolly became the youngest Indian to score more than 200 points at a trial event.

Lt Anjana Mohan
Mar 28: Lt Anjana Mohan, who has been a lawyer, a classical Bharatanatyam dancer previously, has now become a Lieutenant with the Indian Army. She is the first lady cadet to secure both the rare distinction of bagging a gold medal and the coveted sword of honour in the combined courses of Short Service Commission 99 and Short Service Commission (Women) 13 courses from the Indian Army’s Officer Training Academy (OTA), Chennai.

Michael Clarke
Mar 29: Australian skipper Michael Clarke hit 74 in his last One-day International to lead Australia to their fifth World Cup title.

David and Kathleen Long
Apr 01: David and Kathleen Long, a couple from northern England, defied the odds again by winning a million pounds ($1.5 million) and a car in the lottery for a second time.

Zhou Qunfei
Apr 03: Zhou Qunfei, chairwoman and president of China’s Lens Technology, emerged as China’s richest woman, with a fortune surpassing $8 billion. Zhou has been a former factory worker who founded Lens Technology, a company that supplies Apple, Samsung and other technological giants with touchscreen glass.

Anthony Ray Hinton
Apr 03: Anthony Ray Hinton, an Alabama man, who has been on death row for nearly 30 years for murder and robbery charges was ordered to be released after his case was dismissed.

Maryam Siddiqui
Apr 03: Maryam Siddiqui, a 12-year-old Muslim girl from Mumbai stood first among over 3,000 participants at the ‘Gita Champions League’ contest, organised by International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon) in January.

Mieko Nagaoka
Apr 06: Mieko Nagaoka, a 100-year-old Japanese woman, became the world’s first centenarian to complete a 1,500-metre freestyle swim, 20 years after she took up the sport. She took just under an hour and 16 minutes to finish the race.

Kumar Sangakkara
Apr 08: Sri Lanka great Kumar Sangakkara was named as the Leading Cricketer in the World in the 2015 Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack.

Sangakkara joined India’s Virender Sehwag as the only two players to be named as Wisden’s Leading Cricketer in the World for a second occasion.

Bilkis Mahmood
Apr 09: Bilkis Mahmood, a British Pakistan lawyer, became Britain’s and world’s second Asian football agent for the English Football Association (FA). Her appointment will encourage more women from the ethnic backgrounds to follow in her footsteps.

Dr Babar Vaqas
Apr 11: A British Pakistani surgeon Dr Babar Vaqas broke new ground with a laser probe which helps detect brain tumours. Dr Vaqas came up with the probe after seeing a similar piece of equipment being used in Canada to treat skin cancer.

MCQs

National

1. At present, there are ______ cantonment boards in Pakistan.
(a) 36        (b) 40
(c) 43        (d) 49

2. The process of IDPs return began from the Kaur Qila transit camp on ______.
(a) Mar 14    (b) Mar 15
(c) Mar 16    (d) Mar 20

3. On Mar 16, the Pakistan Army announced a successful conclusion of the Operation Khyber-I that was launched in October 2014, to clear Bara tehsil of ______ Agency.
(a) Mohmand    (b) Khyber
(c) N. Waziristan    (d) S. Waziristan

4. The government of Pakistan has officially barred its officials from using ______ mobile application.
(a) Viber    (b) WhatsApp
(c) Dasher    (d) SnapChat

5. On Mar 17, Pakistan and ______ signed additional protocol amending the agreement on avoidance of double taxation (ADTA).
(a) Austria    (b) Australia
(c) China    (d) Japan

6. On Mar 18, US Ambassador to Pakistan, Richard G. Olson, inaugurated the Lincoln Corner at the law college of the University of ______.
(a) Peshawar    (b) Loralai
(c) Balochistan    (d) Turbat

7. On Mar 19, a Sindh University zoology scholar Waheed Ali Panhwar unearthed five new species of tettigonioidea (Ensifera), commonly known as ______.
(a) Catfish    (b) Grasshopper
(c) Bat        (d) Baboon

8. On Mar 19, the High Court of Justice in London ruled that Pakistan no longer has sovereign immunity over the State of ______ wealth.
(a) Swat’s    (b) Junagarh’s
(c) Hyderabad’s     (d) Kashmir’s

9. On Mar 19, United Nations’ Commission on Limits of Continental Shelf (UNCLCS) accepted Pakistan’s claim for extension of its continental shelf limits from 200 to ______ nautical miles.
(a) 330        (b) 350
(c) 380        (d) 400

10. Islamabad-based Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) was founded by ______.
(a) Dr A.Q. Khan
(b) Dr Abdus Salam
(c) Dr Munir Ahmad
(d) Dr Naweed Syed

11. Mohammad Khan Achakzai is the incumbent Governor of ______.
(a) Balochistan    (b) Khyber PK
(c) Gilgit-Baltistan (d) None of these

12. On Mar 25, ______ upgraded the outlook on Pakistan’s foreign currency government bond (dollar bond) rating to positive from stable.
(a) Asian Development Bank
(b) International Monetary Fund
(c) Moody’s Investors Service
(d) World Bank

13. On Mar 26, the first shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG), carrying 148,517 cubic metres of the fuel from ______, reached Karachi.
(a) Russia     (b) Qatar
(c) China     (d) Saudi Arabia

14. Heavy Electrical Complex (HEC) is located in District ______.
(a) Haripur     (b) Swat
(c) Peshawar    (d) Karak

15. The present leader of the opposition in Senate is ______.
(a) Farooq H. Naek
(b) Rehman Malik
(c) Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan
(d) Mushahid Hussain Syed

16. On Mar 29, ______ was appointed as the Punjab Board of Investment & Trade (PBIT) chairman.
(a) Irfan Qaisar     (b) Abdul Basit
(c) Abdul Hai    (d) Sattar Malik

17. Riaz Riazuddin assumed charge as Deputy Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on ______.
(a) March 28    (b) March 30
(c) April 1    (d) April 7

18. On Mar 30, a new phase of Schools Reforms Roadmap “Parho Punjab Barho Punjab” was launched by ______.
(a) Mian Shahbaz Sharif
(b) Mian Nawaz Sharif
(c) Hamza Shahbaz Sharif
(d) Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan

19. Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik took oath as chief justice of the High Court ______.
(a) Islamabad    (b) Peshawar
(c) AJ&K        (d) Lahore

20. On Mar 31, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued notification to reconstitute the Federal Film Censor Board that will now consist of six official and ______ unofficial members.
(a) 8        (b) 12
(c) 14        (d) 16

21. On Apr 02, the first of its kind modern model cattle market of Pakistan was inaugurated in ______.
(a) Lahore    (b) Sialkot
(c) Sheikhupura    (d) Multan

22. President Mamnoon Hussain promulgated the Judicial Commission Ordinance 2015 on ______.
(a) Apr 03    (b) Apr 05
(c) Apr 06    (d) Apr 09

23. On Apr 04, a report revealed that ______ has the highest number of juvenile offenders in the country.
(a) Khyber PK    (b) Sindh
(c) Punjab    (d) Balochistan

24. On Apr 06, Pakistan and ______ signed an agreement on civilian nuclear energy cooperation.
(a) Thailand    (b) Turkey
(c) China    (d) Sri Lanka

25. On Apr 06, a division bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) stopped ______ from functioning.
(a) PPRA        (b) Ogra
(c) Nepra    (d) Pemra

26. On Apr 08, the Supreme Court constituted a judicial commission, comprising Justice Nasirul Mulk, Justice Amir Hani Muslim and _______, to investigate allegations of rigging in 2013 elections.
(a) Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan
(b) Justice Mian Saqib Nisar
(c) Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany
(d) Justice Qazi Faez Isa

27. ______ received its first National CSR Award for its contributions made in Pakistan under its global ‘Seeing is Believing’ initiative.
(a) Dubai Islamic Bank
(b) Bank Alfalah
(c) Standard Chartered Bank
(d) Muslim Commercial Bank

28. On Apr 09, the ______ High Court (LHC) suspended the detention of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.
(a) Lahore    (b) Islamabad
(c) Peshawar    (d) Balochistan

29. The minimum age for a candidate contesting the upcoming local government elections has been set at ______.
(a) 18 years    (b) 21 years
(c) 23 years    (d) 25 years

30. On Apr 15, the Army Strategic Forces Command successfully tested the parameters of the nuclear-capable ______ missile.
(a) Ghaznavi    (b) Ghauri
(c) Shaheen    (d) Ra’ad

31. Emerging from the foothills of Patriata and Murree, Soan River eventually falls into ______ River near Makkar.
(a) Indus    (b) Chenab
(c) Jhelum    (d) Beas

32. Justice AR Cornelius was the ______ Chief Justice of Pakistan.
(a) 2nd        (b) 3rd
(c) 4th        (d) 6th
33. The second summit of the OIC was held in Lahore on February 21-24, ______.
(a) 1973        (b) 1974
(c) 1975        (d) 1976

International

1. The world’s biggest arms exporter country is ______.
(a) Russia    (b) China
(c) USA        (d) Japan

2. The United States and People’s Republic of China established diplomatic relations in ______.
(a) 1952        (b) 1963
(c) 1979        (d) 1985

3. The world’s highest-earning model for the past eight years, Gisele Bundchen, belongs to ______.
(a) US        (b) Brazil
(c) Australia    (d) UK

4. Habib Essid is the current Prime Minister of ______.
(a) Tunisia    (b) Indonesia
(c) Algeria    (d) Malaysia

5. Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first and the longest-serving Prime Minister, led his country from 1959 to ______.
(a) 1984        (b) 1988
(c) 1990        (d) 1996

6. Marrakech, also known as the “Jewel of the Desert,” is a city in ______.
(a) Egypt    (b) Tunisia
(c) Syria        (d) Morocco

7. On Mar 26, ______ successfully launched a replacement spy satellite.
(a) Russia     (b) Japan
(c) US        (d) China

8. The synagogue is the place of worship in ______.
(a) Confucianism    (b) Buddhism
(c) Judaism    (d) Taoism

9. ________, whose best-selling debut novel was turned into Oscar-winning movie “Slumdog Millionaire”, was appointed as India’s foreign ministry spokesman on Mar 26.
(a) R. Masakui    (b) S. Akbaruddin
(c) Sumit Seth    (d) Vikas Swarup

10. On Mar 28, China and ______ signed 33 deals worth $23.6 billion.
(a) Indonesia    (b) Kazakhstan
(c) Pakistan     (d) New Zealand

11. ______ is called the honeymoon islands.
(a) Maldives    (b) Thailand
(c) Singapore    (d) Philippines

12. ______ won the Dubai World Cup Horse Race 2015.
(a) Gloria    (b) Colt
(c) Chrome     (d) Prince Bishop

13. On Mar 30, ______ peace negotiators agreed the draft text of a historic nationwide ceasefire agreement.
(a) Bhutan    (b) Myanmar
(c) Philippines    (d) Malaysia

14. Irina Georgieva Bokova is a Bulgarian politician and the incumbent Director-General of ______.
(a) UNESCO    (b) UNICEF
(c) UNHCR    (d) WHO

15. On Mar 30, Islam Karimov cruised to a new five-year term as President of ______.
(a) Tajikistan    (b) Azerbaijan
(c) Uzbekistan    (d) Kazakhstan

16. On Mar 31, ______ moved into its new Frank Gehry-designed headquarters in Silicon Valley.
(a) Google    (b) Facebook
(c) Yahoo!    (d) Twitter

17. On Mar 31, a former Major General and the Head of State of ______ from 31 Dec 1983 to 27 Aug 1985, won the country’s presidential election.
(a) Kenya    (b) Nigeria
(c) Somalia    (d) Algeria

18. US President Barack Obama, on ______, created the first-ever sanctions programme to penalise overseas hackers.
(a) Apr 01    (b) Apr 04
(c) Apr 06    (d) Apr 07

19. Palestine formally joined the Hague-based International Criminal Court on ______.
(a) Mar 25    (b) Mar 27
(c) Mar 28    (d) Apr 01

20. On Apr 02, Iran and world powers agreed on the framework of a potentially historic deal aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear programme after marathon talks in______.
(a) France    (b) Switzerland
(c) UK         (d) Germany

21. On Apr 02, Hannah Robert, a US defence contractor pleaded guilty to secretly providing parts and drawings for nuclear submarines and fighter aircraft to______.
(a) Pakistan    (b) China
(c) India        (d) Japan

22. On April 03, Zhou Qunfei, chairwoman and president of Lens Technology, emerged as ______ richest woman.
(a) China’s    (b) Japan’s
(c) N. Korea’s    (d) S. Korea’s

23. According to the Pew Research Center’s religious profile predictions, ______ is expected to be the fastest-growing faith on the planet.
(a) Christianity    (b) Buddhism
(c) Islam        (d) Taoism

24. International Pillow Fight Day 2015 was celebrated on ______.
(a) April 01    (b) April 02
(c) April 03    (d) April 04

25. The world’s largest particle smasher, ‘The Large Hadron Collider (LHC),’ is located in ______.
(a) Denmark    (b) Switzerland
(c) Austria    (d) Norway

26. Dmitry Medvedev is the incumbent Prime Minister of ______.
(a) Russia    (b) Serbia
(c) Georgia    (d) Denmark

27. On Apr 07, ______ was approved as a founding member of the Beijing-backed Asian Infrastructure Bank Investment (AIIB).
(a) S. Korea    (b) England
(c) Iran        (d) Indonesia

28. On Apr 08, the Red Juma Mosque, located in ______ Tomsk region was reopened for worship after 90 years.
(a) China’s    (b) Vatican’s
(c) Japan’s     (d) Russia’s

29. On Apr 13, ______ lifted a ban on supplying Iran with sophisticated S-300 air defence missile systems.
(a) India        (b) Russia
(c) France    (d) US

30. On Apr 14, the United Nations appointed ______ as the first global advocate for the elimination of mines and explosive hazards.
(a) Kate Winslet    (b) Daniel Craig
(c) Johnny Depp    (d) Amber Heard

31. Lake Powell is a reservoir on the Colorado River, straddling the border between the US States of Utah and ______.
(a) Arizona    (b) Ohio
(c) New Jersey    (d) Texas

32. Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock located in ______.
(a) Oxford    (b) Dublin
(c) London    (d) Birmingham

33. The Deutsche Bundesbank is the central bank of ______.
(a) France    (b) Germany
(c) Austria    (d) Denmark

34. Marina Bay is a bay near Central Area in the southern part of ______.
(a) Finland    (b) Indonesia
(c) Singapore    (d) Saudi Arabia

35. Located in New Delhi, India, Humayun’s tomb is a 16th century prototype for the______.
(a) Red Fort    (b) Red mosque
(c) Akbar’s Tomb    (d) Taj Mahal

36. International Day for Street Children occurs every year on ______.
(a) Apr 08    (b) Apr 10
(c) Apr 12    (d) Apr 14

37. In 2013, Afghanistan’s ______, because of its historical past, was officially named as the Capital of Islamic Culture in Asia.
(a) Herat        (b) Ghazni
(c) Kandahar     (d) Chetgah

Sports

1. On Mar 21, Martin Guptill of ______ hit a World Cup record of 237 not out.
(a) Australia    (b) S. Africa
(c) New Zealand    (d) Zimbabwe

2. The Pakistan Day Cup 2015, country’s premier horseracing event, was won by ______.
(a) Wind        (b) Hot Man
(c) Swifty     (d) Bishop

3. During the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, Chris Gayle of West Indies topped the list of most 6’s by an individual player with _______ sixes.
(a) 24        (b) 26
(c) 28        (d) 30

4. The final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 was played at ______ Cricket Ground.
(a) Melbourne    (b) Adelaide
(c) Christchurch    (d) Lords

5. ______ was named as the captain of International Cricket Council’s (ICC) team of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
(a) Brendon McCullum
(b) Martin Guptill
(c) Chris Gayle
(d) Michael Clarke

6. Mustafa Kamal, who resigned from his post on April 01, was the ______ of the ICC.
(a) Patron    (b) CEO
(c) President     (d) Secretary

7. On Apr 04, Pakistan’s Maria Toorpakai defeated ______ Siyoli Waters to clinch the second Bahria Town International Women Squash Championship.
(a) Serbia’s    (b) S. Africa’s
(c) Norway’s    (d) Latvia’s

Obituaries

1. On Mar 20, former ______ prime minister Malcolm Fraser, who served as the nation’s leader from 1975 until 1983, died.
(a) Australian    (b) French
(c) British    (d) German

2. Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first prime minister and architect of the tiny Southeast Asian city state’s rapid rise, died on ______.
(a) Mar 22     (b) Mar 24
(c) March 26    (d) Mar 28

3. Tomas Transtroemer, who died on Mar 27, had won the 2011 Nobel Prize for ______.
(a) Chemistry    (b) Medicine
(c) Literature    (d) Peace

4. On Apr 01, the world’s oldest person, a ______ woman Misao Okawa, died.
(a) Japanese    (b) S. Korean
(c) Singaporean    (d) Thai

5. On Apr 10, former ______ captain and the beloved “voice of cricket” Richie Benaud died.
(a) West Indian    (b) Scottish
(c) Australian    (d) S. African

6. Renowned Urdu, Punjabi and English poet, Majid Siddiqui, passed away on ______.
(a) Mar 17    (b) Mar 19
(c) Mar 24    (d) Mar 26

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