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World in Focus (Aug-Sep 2019)

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INTERNATIONAL

Aug. 16: Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh said that New Delhi might change its “no first use” policy on nuclear weapons.

Aug. 16: Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat confirmed that the punishment of dismissal has been awarded to a Major General from service in connection with a sexual harassment case.

Aug. 16: The boss of Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific Airways quit, the highest-profile corporate casualty of unrest roiling the former British colony.

Aug. 16: Princess Christina, youngest sister of Beatrix who ruled the Netherlands till her abdication in 2013, died aged 72.

Aug. 16: Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced that the capital of the country will move to the island of Borneo.

Aug. 16: Former Nigeria national team coach Samson Siasia was banned from the game for life.

Aug. 16: Former Indian national cricketer VB Chandrasekhar died in what investigators suspect was suicide prompted by worries about debt.

Aug. 17: Sudan’s generals and protest leaders signed a historic deal paving the way to civilian rule.

Aug. 18: Iceland honoured the passing of Okjokull, its first glacier lost to climate change.

Aug. 18: Italy’s Felice Gimondi, one of only seven cyclists to have won all three Grand Tours, died at the age of 76.

Aug. 19: The ninth-seeded Russian Daniil Medvedev defeated David Goffin to win the ATP Cincinnati Masters, lifting a first Masters 1000 trophy.

Aug. 19: Major General Shavendra Silva, who is accused of war crimes by the UN, was appointed Sri Lanka army chief.

Aug. 19: US President Donald Trump spoke to Indian and Pakistani prime ministers in a bid to defuse rising tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.

Aug. 19: The US Defense Department announced the test of a medium-range ground-launched cruise missile.

Aug. 19: India’s legendary music composer Khayyam passed away at 92.

Aug. 20: The prime ministers of five Nordic countries – Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland – held their annual summer meeting.

Aug. 20: Indian Nobel laureate Dr Amartya Sen vehemently criticised the government’s move on Indian-held Kashmir, saying it not only emphasised majority rule “as opposed to it sustaining the rights of all human beings”.

Aug. 21: Denmark was left stunned by Donald Trump’s decision to postpone a state visit after the government told the US president its autonomous territory Greenland was not for sale.

Aug. 21: Saudi Arabia began implementing a landmark reform allowing women over the age of 21 to receive passports and travel abroad without permission from a male “guardian”.

Aug. 21: Nigeria announced that three years had elapsed since it last recorded a case of polio, a key step towards eradicating the notorious disease in Africa.

Aug. 21: Sudan took further steps in its transition towards civilian rule with the swearing in of a new sovereign council, to be followed by the appointment of a prime minister.

Aug. 21: Dr Christian Turner CMG was appointed British High Commissioner to Pakistan in succession to Thomas Drew CMG. Dr Turner will take up his appointment by December 2019.

Aug. 22: US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper confirmed the death of Hamza Bin Laden, the son and designated heir of Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden.

Aug. 22: An unmanned spacecraft carrying Russia’s first humanoid robot docked at the International Space Station.

Aug. 22: United Nations investigators said in a report that sexual violence committed by Myanmar troops against Rohingya women and girls in 2017 indicated the military’s genocidal intent to destroy the mainly Muslim ethnic minority.

Aug. 22: Kosovo MPs voted to dissolve parliament and trigger early elections.

Aug. 22: Iran unveiled its new home-grown air defence system Bavar-373 – which means “believe”.

Aug. 23: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the world to “stamp out anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim hatred, the persecution of Christians and other religious groups”.

Aug. 23: Six EU countries on Friday agreed to take in 356 migrants stranded on a rescue ship in the Mediterranean after a two-week standoff again exposed the failure of European leaders to quickly deal with desperate people fleeing conflict and poverty in Africa.

Aug. 23: Russia launched the world’s first floating nuclear reactor, sending it on an epic journey across the Arctic.

Aug. 23: With a capacity of more than 30,000 people, a mosque named after Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) was inaugurated in the Chechen town of Shali. It is the largest mosque in Europe.

Aug. 23: Sri Lanka withdrew an emergency law imposed after Easter Sunday attacks.

Aug. 23: David Koch, a billionaire American libertarian and influential donor to conservative causes, died at age 79.

Aug. 24: The commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Major General Hossein Salami, announced that Iran test-fired a new missile , without providing more information about the missile.

Aug. 24: Senior Indian opposition leaders were forcibly turned back from Srinagar after the Indian government claimed they were interfering with the battle against alleged cross-border terrorism in the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Aug. 24: Arun Jaitley, India’s former finance minister and a key member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first-term cabinet, died. He was 66.

Aug. 24: North Korea fired two suspected short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast, in the seventh weapons launch in a month.

Aug. 24: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi received the United Arab Emirates’ highest civilian honour, the Order of Zayed. India is home to a rapidly growing consumer market and labour pool that the federation of sheikhdoms relies on for its own economy.

Aug. 24: Ethiopia´s parliament passed a new election law, a key step toward holding a hotly anticipated vote next year.

Aug. 25: The Israeli air force struck in Syria to ‘prevent’ an Iranian force from launching an attack on the Jewish state with drones armed with explosives.

Aug. 25: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif flew into Biarritz in southern France for the G7 summit, in an unexpected and dramatic attempt to break a diplomatic deadlock over Tehran’s disputed nuclear programme.

Aug. 25: Suzuki’s Alex Rins passed MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez at the final corner to win a thrilling British Grand Prix.

Aug. 25: Ben Stokes was the hero yet again as his incredible unbeaten century saw England to a remarkable one-wicket win in the third Ashes Test at Headingley.

Aug. 25: US President Donald Trump and Japan´s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced a deal in principle on a major bilateral trade deal.

Aug. 25: Nauru’s president, a strong supporter of Australia’s hardline policy of detaining refugees on the tiny Pacific island nation, lost his seat in a general election.

Aug. 25: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was awarded the King Hamad Order of the Renaissance by Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa in recognition of his efforts to strengthen bilateral relations.

Aug. 26: Pusarla Sindhu won India’s first-ever title at the world Badminton Championships when she comfortably beat Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara to win the women’s singles.

Aug. 26: Sidney Rittenberg, a former American advisor to Mao Tse-tung who spent long spells in prison as he fell in and out of favour with China´s communist leaders, died. He was 98.

Aug. 26: Kenya exported its first crude oil. Although commercial production is years away, the discovery of oil has heightened expectations that citizens, especially those living adjacent to the deposits, will benefit.

Aug. 26: Indonesia will move its capital to the eastern edge of jungle-clad Borneo island, President Joko Widodo announced, as the country shifts its political heart away from congested and sinking megalopolis Jakarta.

Aug. 27: Attorneys general for 19 states and the District of Columbia sued President Donald Trump’s administration to block a sweeping new rule to indefinitely detain migrant families seeking to settle in the United States.

Aug. 27: An unmanned spacecraft, FEDOR, carrying Russia’s first humanoid robot docked at the International Space Station.

Aug. 27: Japan’s judo king Shohei Ono smashed Azerbaijan’s Rustam Orujov to capture his third world title.

Aug. 27: Former world 800-metre champion Marina Arzamasova was provisionally suspended for doping after testing positive for a drug in development that is popular with body builders.

Aug. 27: Former Volkswagen boss Ferdinand Piech died at 82.

Aug. 27: Russia and Turkey agreed steps to tackle militants in northwest Syria and “normalize” the situation there after a Syrian army offensive encircled rebel fighters and a Turkish military post.

Aug. 27: The International Cricket Council (ICC) banned two Hong Kong players, including one who has already served a 30-month ban, from all cricket for life for breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code in matches played between 2014 and 2016.

Aug. 28: Indian Supreme Court issued a notice to the federal government on all petitions challenging the revocation of Article 370 in Indian-Held Kashmir (IHK).

Aug. 28: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for the first time announced suspension of Parliament in final weeks before Britain’s EU departure date.

Aug. 28: The US Treasury placed two Iranian business groups – Dehghan Network and Shariat Network – on its sanctions blacklist, saying both were important suppliers of Tehran´s missile program and facilitators of its alleged proliferation activities.

Aug. 28: Honduras recognized the holy city of Jerusalem as Israel´s capital.

Aug. 28: France’s Clarisse Agbegnenou won the fourth world judo title.

Aug. 29: Racing driver Jessi Combs, considered the “fastest woman on four wheels,” was killed in a car accident trying to break her own record.

Aug. 29: Measles cases are skyrocketing in Europe and the disease is surging in four countries previously considered to have eliminated it, including the UK, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned.

Aug. 30: Poland and the United States agreed on six locations for new US troops to be stationed in Poland.

Aug. 30: Six UN Security Council members blocked a move to include Somali jihadist group Al-Shabaab on a list of organizations such as Al-Qaeda that are under international sanctions.

Aug. 30: Donald Trump’s personal assistant Madeleine Westerhout resigned after she shared information about the president’s family with journalists.

Aug. 30: World champion Karsten Warholm ran the second-fastest time in history when he held off a late challenge from American champion Rai Benjamin to clinch the men`s 400-metre hurdles at the Diamond League finals.

Aug. 31: Almost two million people in northeast India were left facing statelessness after they were excluded from a citizenship list aimed at weeding out “foreign infiltrators,” in a process the central government wants to replicate nationwide.

Aug. 31: Over 30 students from a college in Kerala were booked for waving the Pakistani flag on the campus.

Aug. 31: Australia’s domestic football league appointed its first female referee, Kate Jacewicz.

Aug. 31: The account of Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey was “compromised” after a series of erratic and offensive messages were posted.

Aug. 31: Google agreed to pay $150-200 million to settle allegations YouTube violated a children´s privacy law while gathering data to better target its adverts.

Sept. 01: German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier asked Poland’s forgiveness 80 years after Germany’s attack triggered World War II.

Sept. 01: Iran unveiled a jet-propelled drone it said is capable of finding and attacking targets far from the country’s borders with precision. Dubbed the “Kian”, the unmanned aerial vehicle was designed, produced and tested by experts of the air defence force within about a year.

Sept. 01: Sri Lanka paceman Lasith Malinga became the highest wicket-taker in Twenty20 internationals with his 99th scalp in the first match against New Zealand, surpassing Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi.

Sept. 02: The United States and ten Southeast Asian countries kicked off maritime drills, as part of a joint exercise extending into the flashpoint South China Sea with eight warships, four aircraft and more than a thousand personnel.

Sept. 02: Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze announced his resignation.

Sept. 02: Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, official urged India to ensure no one is left stateless by the exclusion of nearly two million people from a citizenship list in Assam state.

Sept. 02: A trio of Indonesian university students has invented a device that uses high-frequency signals to help locate victims after a natural disaster. Dubbed Detector of Interconnected Position Points or “Deoterions,” the tool emits a ping signal with movement as slight as breathing that can be detected up to 10 km (6.2 miles) away.

Sept. 02: Canadian Andre De Grasse ran down South African Akani Simbine to win the 100 metres in his fastest time of the year.

Sept. 03: Bangladesh’s telecommunications regulatory body asked operators to shut down cellphone services in sprawling camps in the southeast where hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar live.

Sept. 03: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered a big defeat in parliament as rebels seized control of Brexit agenda.

Sept. 03: Indian women’s cricket star Mithali Raj announced her retirement from Twenty20 internationals to focus on the one-day World Cup in 2021.

Sept. 04: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani gave European powers another two months to save a 2015 nuclear deal, but warned that Tehran still preparing for further significant breaches of the pact that would have “extraordinary effects”.

Sept. 04: A British judge ruled in favour of Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in a move that will provide some respite for the beleaguered prime minister.

Sept. 04: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met his “close friend” Russian President Vladimir Putin on the first day of Russia’s economic forum in the Pacific coast city of Vladivostok.

Sept. 04: The lower house of British parliament voted to prevent Prime Minister Boris Johnson taking Britain out of the European Union without a deal.

Sept. 05: The Indian chapter of Amnesty International launched a campaign aimed at lifting of the communications blackout being endured by residents of occupied Kashmir.

Sept. 05: President Sergio Mattarella swore in Italy’s new pro-European government, heralding a fresh start for the eurozone’s third largest economy as the far-right falls from power.

Sept. 05: The 347 scientists who collaborated to produce the world’s first image of a black hole were honoured with the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, winning $3 million for what is known as the “Oscars of Science”.

Sept. 05: Batsman Rahmat Shah became the first Afghan cricketer to score a Test century.

Sept. 05: Francisco Toledo, who shook up the 1960s Mexican art scene with his fresh approach to painting, sculpting, printing, tapestry weaving and preserving the cultural heritage that inspired him, died.

Sept. 06: Britain’s upper house gave final approval to a law that would force Boris Johnson to delay Brexit.

Sept. 06: Japanese scientists identified a new species of dinosaur from a nearly-complete skeleton that was the largest ever discovered in the country, measuring 8 metres (26 feet) long.

Sept. 06: Robert Mugabe, the hero-turned-despot who ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years until the military forced him out, died aged 95.

Sept. 06: India’s attempt to land a robotic spacecraft near the moon’s South Pole ended in failure as less than two miles above the surface, its Chandryaan 2 diverged from the planned path.

Sept. 06: A coalition of US state officials announced they had launched an antitrust investigation of Facebook to determine if the social media giant “has stifled competition and put users at risk.

Sept. 06: Sweden´s foreign minister Margot Wallstrom, whose rights focus and “feminist” diplomatic policy garnered both admirers and vocal detractors, announced her resignation.

Sept. 06: Lasith Malinga claimed four wickets in four balls for the second time in his career to lead Sri Lanka to a 37-run consolation win over New Zealand in the third Twenty20 international.

Sept. 07: The African Union (AU) lifted its suspension of Sudan, three months after freezing its membership following Khartoum’s bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

Sept. 07: Vlade Divac, who won Olympic basketball silver with Yugoslavia and later with Serbia, was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Sept. 07: Israeli forces attacked Hamas positions in Gaza after rockets fired from the Palestinian enclave hit the Jewish state.

Sept. 07: Russia and Ukraine carried out a long-awaited swap of 70 prisoners, in a deal hailed as a first step towards ending five years of tensions and conflict.

Sept. 07: Muslim militants in the mainly Catholic Philippines began handing over their guns to independent foreign monitors, as part of a treaty aimed at ending a decades-long insurgency.

Sept. 08: US President Donald Trump stunned the world when he announced that he has cancelled his secret talks with the Taliban and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

Sept. 08: Sudan’s first cabinet since the ouster of president Omar al-Bashir was sworn in.

Sept. 08: The United States and Turkey began joint patrols in north-eastern Syria aimed at easing tensions between Ankara and US-backed Kurdish forces.

Sept. 08: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman replaced the energy minister with his son Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, half-brother to de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Sept. 08: Teenager Bianca Andreescu won US Open title, defeating Serena Williams in the final.

Sept. 08: Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei ran the fastest half-marathon ever by a woman, winning the Great North Run in a time of one hour, four minutes and 28 seconds.

Sept. 09: Britain’s House of Commons Speaker John Bercow, who played a key role in the three-year Brexit crisis, said he would stand down from the role.

Sept. 09: The commander of the United States Central Command (US Centcom), General Kenneth F McKenzie Jr., called on Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Sept. 09: British Airways faced its first global strike by pilots.

Sept. 09: Rafael Nadal captured his 19th career Grand Slam title by winning his fourth US Open.

Sept. 09: The 42nd session of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council (UNHRC) began in Geneva.

Sept. 09: Australia’s cricketers restored national pride by retaining the coveted Ashes trophy, following a reputation-shattering cheating scandal.

Sept. 11: India received the dubious honour of being one of the worst places for expatriates to live in this year’s Expat Insider report.

Sept. 11: The head of the Church of England prostrated himself to say sorry in a personal capacity and “in the name of Christ” at the tragedy at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar. British troops fired on thousands of unarmed men, women and children in Amritsar on April 13, 1919, killing 379 people according to colonial-era records. Indian figures put the total closer to 1,000.

Sept. 11: The US approved sale of 32 F-35 stealth fighter jets to Poland — a deal worth $6.5 billion.

Sept. 11: Water was discovered for the first time in the atmosphere of an exoplanet with Earth-like temperatures that could support life as we know it, scientists revealed.

Sept. 11: President Donald Trump announced the firing of hawkish national security adviser John Bolton.

Sept. 11: Karate, sport climbing and baseball/softball were added to the programme for the 2022 Asian Games at Hangzhou taking the number of approved sports at the event to 40.

Sept. 12: US internet giant Google agreed a settlement totalling 945 million euros ($1.0 billion) to settle a tax dispute in France under an agreement announced in court.

Sept. 12: US Ambassador Kelly Craft took up her post at the United Nations, nine months after the departure of her high-profile predecessor Nikki Haley.

Sept. 12: President Dr Arif Alvi delivered his constitutionally-mandatory address to a joint sitting of parliament.

Sept. 12: Military adviser to Saudi defence mi­­­nister Maj Gen Talal Abdul­lah al Otaibi called on Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa at the GHQ.

Sept. 13: Kenya became the third country to start routinely innoculating infants against malaria, using the world’s first vaccine to combat a disease that kills 800 children globally every day.

Sept. 14: The Taliban sent a delegation to Russia to discuss prospects for a withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan following the collapse of talks with the United States.

Sept. 14: Drone attacks sparked fires at two Saudi Aramco oil facilities, the latest such assault claimed by Yemeni rebels following a spike in regional tensions with Iran.

Sept. 14: US President Donald Trump confirmed that Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza bin Laden was killed in a US counterterrorism operation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area.

Sept. 14: Outgoing champions the United States won their final match at the Basketball World Cup.

Sept. 14: Charlie Cole, the photographer who snapped the defining image of China’s Tiananmen Square crackdown – a solitary man defiantly blocking the path of a column of tanks – died in Bali, Indonesia.

Sept. 15: The 16th extraordinary meeting of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) was held at the OIC Secretariat in Jeddah to discuss the announcement by the Israeli prime minister of his intention to annex territories in the occupied West Bank in the event of winning Israeli elections.

Sept. 15: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government approved a new settlement in the occupied West Bank.

Sept. 15: Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad issued a decree to release or decrease the punishment of various prisoners, including some detained under the war-torn country’s “terrorism law”.

Sept. 15: England crushed Australia by 135 runs in the fifth and final Ashes Test at The Oval to level the series at 2-2, ending their historic World Cup-winning season on a high.

NATIONAL

Aug. 16: For the first time since 1965, the UN Security Council (UNSC) held a meeting exclusively on occupied Jammu and Kashmir, nullifying India’s claim that this was an internal matter.

Aug. 16: The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) asked India to immediately lift curfew in occupied Kashmir.

Aug. 16: Pakistan took strong exception to Indian Defence Minister’s hint at altering India’s nuclear policy of “No First Use” (NFU) terming it “irresponsible” and “unfortunate”.

Aug. 16: Eminent physician and the Director-General Human Organ Transplant Authority Punjab, Prof Dr Faisal Masood died of a cardiac arrest. He was 65.

Aug. 16: Syed Naqi Mohsin, the former national badminton champion and senior vice-president of the Pakistan Badminton Federation (PBF) passed away.

Aug. 17: Prominent tribal elder and central leader of the Balochistan National Party (BNP-Mengal) Nawab Amanullah Khan Zarakzai was shot dead along with his grandson and two guards.

Aug. 17: The federal government notified appointment of Aamir Khan as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) with immediate effect.

Aug. 17: The United Nations said Kashmir conundrum would be addressed in line with the UN Charter and UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions in a peaceful manner.

Aug. 18: The government confirmed successful commercial operations of a $2 billion 1,320MW coal-fired power plant set up by the China Power Hub Generation Company (CPHGC) under the China-Pakistan Econo¬mic Corridor (CPEC) project.

Aug. 19: Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa was given another three-year term in office by Prime Minister Imran Khan, allowing him to keep the command till November 2022.

Aug. 19: The accountability court of Islamabad recalled arrest warrants for the chairman of a private bank in Pakistan, Nasser Abdulla Lootah, after the UAE national turned approver against former president Asif Ali Zardari.

Aug. 19: Four newly-appointed additional judges of the Peshawar High Court – Justice Sahibzada Asadullah, Justice Wiqar Ahmad, Justice Mohammad Naeem Anwar and Justice Ahmad Ali – took oath of their offices.

Aug. 19: Former hockey Olympian and legendary goalkeeper Zakir Hussain passed away. He was 85.

Aug. 20: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection Dr Sania Nishtar launched the first Women in Global Health (WGH) chapter in South Asia.

Aug. 20: India finally shared data related to floodwater discharges in the River Sutlej with Pakistan, pledging to fulfil its responsibility under the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960.

Aug. 20: Pakistan’s former Davis Cup player Samir Iftikhar bagged the Men’s Singles title of USTA $20,000 ElPaso Tennis Tournament.

Aug. 21: Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mehmood Abbasi inaugurated a Special Service Operational Training Centre in Karachi.

Aug. 21: A parliamentary panel turned down with majority vote a proposal to set 18 years as the minimum age for marriage in Pakistan.

Aug. 22: China Mobile Pakistan (CMPak), branded as Zong 4G a pioneer of mobile internet connectivity in Pakistan, achieved another milestone by successfully conducting 5G trials in the country. This achievement has made the Chinese telecom company the first and only local mobile operator to do so.

Aug. 22: The Nat¬i¬o¬nal Counter Terrorism Aut¬¬h¬ority (Nacta) dec¬lared two more outfits — Hizbul Ahrar and Baloch¬istan Raaji Ajoi-R-Sangar (BRAS) — proscribed orga¬nisations under Section 11-B of the Anti-Terrorism Act, putting their members and activities under surveillance.

Aug. 22: The Islamabad High Court suspended former accountability court judge Mohammad Arshad Malik over the video leak controversy and repatriated him to his parent department — the Lahore High Court.

Aug. 22: Nawabzada Malik Mohammad Asad Khan, son of the late Nawab Amir Mohammad Khan of Kalabagh, died. He was the only surviving son of the former Governor West Pakistan.

Aug. 23: Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani laid the foundation stone of phase III of the Green Energy Project being executed under the Gwadar Development Project.

Aug. 23: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cabinet approved dissolution of the Fata Development Authority (FDA) and handing over of 383-kilometre highways in the merged tribal districts from the communication and works department to the Pakhtunkhwa Highways Authority.

Aug. 23: The Lahore High Court (LHC) suspended all amendments recently introduced in the constitution of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) through a notification issued by the ministry of interprovincial coordination.

Aug. 23: The Sindh government and the federal government agreed to construct a barrage on the River Indus at 45 kilometres upstream the Arabian Sea in the south of Thatta and in the east of Karachi to address environmental issues caused by sea intrusion and land degradation.

Aug. 24: The Sindh cabinet approved the Sindh Women Agriculture Act 2019 aimed at empowering the women of the rural swathes of the province.

Aug. 24: Pakistan LNG (PLL) replaced its top manager with immediate effect, appointing Shahid Yousaf as managing director and chief executive.

Aug. 24: Pakistan ranked fourth among the top 10 countries in the world in terms of growth in earnings by freelancers.

Aug. 24: Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani cancelled his pre-scheduled trip to UAE in view of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent tour to the Gulf nation.

Aug. 24: The air forces of China and Pakistan began joint exercise ‘Shaheen-VIII’ in northwest China. The annual joint training is the eighth of its kind between the two countries since it was first launched in March 2011.

Aug. 25: Prime Minister Imran Khan set up a high-powered 12-member National Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Coordination Committee to ensure execution of all FATF-related tasks till Dec 1. The committee is led by Minister for Economic Affairs Division Hammad Azhar and comprises federal secretaries of finance, foreign affairs and interior besides heads of all the institutions and regulators concerned with money laundering and terror financing, e.g. State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU). The committee also has three senior officials from the military’s General Headquarters (GHQ).

Aug. 25: Veteran peace activist Biyyathil Mohyud¬din Kutty, better known as B.M. Kutty, passed away. He was 89.

Aug. 25: Pakistani batsman Babar Azam became the first Pakistan batsman to score more than 500 runs in a T20 tournament.

Aug. 26: Prime Minister Imran Khan appointed nine lawmakers from the National Assembly as parliamentary secretaries.

Aug. 26: Veteran rally racer Nadir Magsi claimed the Sarfaranga Desert Rally 2019 in Skardu.

Aug. 26: The prime minister appointed Maj Gen Aamer Ikram executive director of the Pakistan Health Research Council (PHRC).

Aug. 26: The government paid $11.55 billion in debt servicing during the fiscal year 2018-19; an increase of over 54 percent compared to the preceding year.

Aug. 27: Prime Minister Imran Khan and Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) of China General Xu Qiliang reaffirmed the commitment of their countries to collaborate for peace and stability in the region.

Aug. 27: 19 newly-elected legislators from the merged districts of defunct Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) were sworn in to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.

Aug. 27: A judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, retired.

Aug. 28: Supreme Court Justice Mushir Alam became a member of the Supreme Judicial Council whereas Justice Faez Isa was inducted in the Supreme Judicial Commission.

Aug. 28: The federal government appointed retired Captain Fazeel Asghar as chief secretary of Balochistan, rep¬lacing Dr Nazeer Akhtar.

Aug. 28: The Islamabad High Court restored Khalid Mirza as member and chairman Securities and Exchange Policy Board.

Aug. 28: The government approved a number of amendments to laws aimed to provide exemptions from income tax, sales tax and custom duties to the Gwadar port and free zone until 2039.

Aug. 28: The Government College University (GCU) syndicate announced the institution of Madeeha Gauhar Award for the female artist of the year in memory of the late theatre professional and founder of Ajoka Theatre.

Aug. 29: In a bid to clear verified sales tax refunds for five export-oriented sectors within 72 hours, the FBR made Fully Automated Sales Tax e-Refunds (FASTER) system operational for payment of billions of rupees amounts to exporters.

Aug. 29: The Army’s Strategic Force Command conducted the training launch of Ghaznavi, a nuclear-capable short-range ballistic missile.

Aug. 30: At least 16 properties in the walled city in Lahore were declared heritage sites by the Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA).

Aug. 30: An accountability court ordered confiscation of the properties of Salman Shahbaz, son of opposition leader in National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif, in a money-laundering case.

Aug. 30: Kashmir Solidarity Hour was observed nationwide.

Aug. 30: The PIA management laid off nearly 1,000 surplus employees besides taking other measures to reduce operational cost of the airline.

Aug. 30: Asim Khan and Amna Fayyaz won the men’s and women’s singles titles in the Pakistan International Squash Tournament.

Aug. 31: The General Secretariat of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) called for a dialogue between Pakistan and India aimed to resolve the Kashmir dispute and urged New Delhi to lift curfew and other restrictions imposed on the people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir in early August.

Aug. 31: The PCB unveiled an ambitious and competitive 2019-20 domestic cricket structure, which revolves around the creation of more quality and intensity-focused system to significantly improve first-class cricket and create sustainable success at international level.

Sept. 01: National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri raised the Kashmir cause at the Sustainable Deve¬lopment Goals summit held in Male, Maldives.

Sept. 01: A Pakistani businessman Mohammad Arif, along with three other foreigners, was issued the first working visa valid for five years by the administration of the China’s Yiwu city in Zhejiang province.

Sept. 02: Pakistan provided consular access to serving Indian naval commander and intelligence operative Kulbhushan Jadhav by arranging his meeting with the official in charge of India’s High Commission Gaurav Ahluwalia in line with Vienna Convention and the July 17 verdict of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Sept. 02: Pakistani shooter Mohammad Khalil Akhtar became the first Pakistani to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Sept. 03: The government has lifted the ban on import of medicines and raw material from India.

Sept. 03: Pakistan, for the first time opened its Torkham border with Afghanistan round the clock, albeit on a trial basis.

Sept. 03: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia formally agreed to exchange values of goods for imports and exports to control of under and over invoicing as part of Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) recommendation.

Sept. 03: The PCB announced six Cricket Associations’ teams for the domestic cricket season 2019-20.

Sept. 04: The Karachi office of NAB took Iqbal Z. Ahmad, one of the country’s leading LNG magnates, into custody.

Sept. 04: Karachi was named among the 10 least liveable cities in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Sept. 04: Pakistan agreed to allow 5,000 Sikh pilgrims from India to visit on a daily basis the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Narowal through the Kartarpur Corridor.

Sept. 04: Misbah-ul-Haq was handed the dual role of head coach-cum-chief selector.

Sept. 05: Eminent actor Abid Ali passed away. He was 67.

Sept. 06: The nation along with the armed forces observed Defence and Martyrs Day with a renewed pledge to protect geographical and ideological boundaries and territorial integrity of the motherland against all threats.

Sept. 06: Legendary wrist-spinner Abdul Qadir died.

Sept. 06: Nepra formally held K-Electric responsible for 19 of the 35 deaths from electrocution in Karachi after the two spells of showers in July and August, and started legal proceedings against the power utility.

Sept. 06: The federal government appointed Dr Mujtaba Piracha (PAS) as permanent representative at the Mission of Pakistan to the World Trade Organisation in Geneva, Switzerland.

Sept. 06: The new US Consul General of Lahore, Catherine Rodriguez, assumed charge of her office.

Sept. 06: PUCAR-15 Red Alert was launched by Punjab Safe Cities Authority on the orders of IGP Capt Arif Nawaz (retd).

Sept. 06: Pakistan Olympic Association’s (POA) president Lt Gen (retd) Arif Hasan was elected as member of the sports committee of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) for Asia. He is the first Pakistani to become part of the CGF’s management.

Sept. 07: At the third round of the Trilateral Foreign Ministers Dialogue, held in Islamabad, China, Afghanistan and Pakistan agreed to step up cooperation in counter-terrorism, security and intelligence sharing and combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

Sept. 07: Pakistan denied India’s President Ram Nath Kovind permission to fly through its airspace.

Sept. 07: Ban Faqiran, Islamabad’s oldest historical site at the top of the Margalla Hills, was opened to visitors again after six months of conservation work. The archaeological remains of Ban Faqiran, dating back to the 2nd to 5th century, were destroyed by heavy rainfall soon after they were excavated by the Department of Archaeology and Museums in 2015-16.

Sept. 07: Seasoned cueist Asjad Iqbal overcame compatriot Mohammad Bilal to win the inaugural South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) Snooker Championship.

Sept. 08: Prime Minister Imran Khan constituted a high-level committee to formulate short-, medium- and long-term plans to address issues being faced by the residents of Karachi.

Sept. 09: Chinese and Pakistani air forces wrapped up the half-month-long Shaheen VIII joint exercises in northwestern China

Sept. 09: In honour of Dr Ruth Pfau’s 90th birthday, Google celebrated the work of the late German nun, who devoted her life to eradicating leprosy from Pakistan, with a doodle.

Sept. 10: The United States designated the chief of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Noor Wali Mehsud as a global terrorist and imposed sanctions on multiple “terrorists and their supporters”.

Sept. 11: The 4th annual Pakistan Investment Conference concluded in the United States.

Sept. 11: Four major generals of the Pakistan Army – Maj Gen Muhammad Aamer, Maj Gen Muhammad Chiragh Haider, Maj Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum and Maj Gen Khalid Zia – were promoted to the rank of lieutenant general.

Sept. 11: Prominent British Pakistani businessman Zameer Choudrey was included on the honours list of former British prime minister Theresa May, who awarded peerages, knighthoods and other honours to 57 citizens.

Sept. 12: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Asif Saeed Khosa constituted a seven-judge Supreme Court bench to hear Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s petition against a presidential reference seeking his removal over his alleged non-disclosure of assets.

Sept. 12: Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) emerged as the only Pakistani university to be ranked among the top 500 universities in the world, according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020.

Sept. 12: President Dr Arif Alvi appointed Justice Jamal Khan Mando¬khail as Chief Justice of the Balochistan High Court (BHC).

Sept. 13: A spokesman of Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar, Dr Shahbaz Gill, resigned, while adviser Awn Chaudhry was removed.

Sept. 13: Private schools were directed by the Supreme Court to revert to the same monthly fee as was being charged in January 2017 till they receive regulatory approval to increase their fee by the maximum limit allowed by the apex court.

Sept. 13: Renowned broadcaster Surraya Shahab died.

Sept. 13: Global football body FIFA announced the Normalisation Committee for the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF), naming Humza Khan its chairman.

Sept. 13: Lawmakers representing major political parties decided to constitute a ‘National Caucus on Financing Sustainable Development’ for making joint efforts to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs) by taking private sector on board.

Sept. 13: The annual Broghil Festival kicked off with colourful activities in the Broghil National Park in Upper Chitral district.

Sept. 14: Pakistan’s star boxer Mohammad Waseem won his world-ranking fight knocking out Canrado Tanamor of the Philippines in the first round at Dubai’s Caesars.

Sept. 14: The Members of the European Union Parliament called for trade and travel sanctions on India over the alarming human rights situation in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).

Sept. 14: The Punjab government declared Multan a metropolitan city under the new Local Government Act 2019.

What is a Metropolitan city?

The word Metropolitan derived from the Greek word metropolitanus meaning citizen of a mother state. A metropolitan area is a region house to a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing.

A metro area usually comprises multiple jurisdictions and municipalities. As social, economic and political institutions have changed, metropolitan areas have become key economic and political regions.

Majorly metropolitan areas are hosted by one major city such as Paris metropolitan area (Paris) and New York metropolitan area (New York City).

Sept. 14: Veteran Pashto poet and political worker Alaf Jana Khattaka passed away. She was 88.

Sept. 15: Prime Minister Imran Khan, youngest Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai and renowned religious scholar Maulana Tariq Jameel featured among the World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims. Published by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre, the list includes Muslims around the globe who are recognised for their efforts and contributions in their respective fields.

Sept. 15: Former chairman Nadra Tariq Malik was cleared in a case filed on behalf of former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan against him on charges of hiding his dual nationality.

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