World in Focus [ April – May 2015 ]

World in Focus

National, International News & MCQs

National
Apr 16: The Supreme Court suspended the death sentences handed down to six militants by the military courts.

Apr 16: Pakista’s Nobel laureate, education activist, Malala Yousafzai once again made it to the list of the Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people.

The list includes people like US President Barack Obama and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mrs Hillary Clinton, Cuban leader Raul Castro, Presidential contender Jeb Bush, Judge of US Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Pope Francis.

Apr 16: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Information Technology, which is headed by Capt Mohammad Safdar, approved the Prevention of Electronics Crime Bill, 2015.

Apr 17: The Human rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) launched its annual report on the State of Human Rights (for 2014). HRCP General Secretary, I.A. Rehman, said that the “state of human rights in the year 2014 overall has been bad.”

Apr 17: Masood Hamid, the marketing director of Pakistan Herald Publications Limited, was murdered in DHA Karachi.

Apr 17: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Pakistan signed a $42.9 million loan agreement for upgrading water management and irrigation systems in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).

Apr 17: The Lahore High Court scrapped the 7km long signal-free corridor from Qartaba Chowk, Jail Road, to Liberty Chowk (Main Boulevard, Gulberg) and clipped the powers of the Lahore Development Authority to launch any such project.

Apr 17: The Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) revised the scheme and syllabi for the forthcoming CSS Competitive Examination 2016 and onwards.

Apr 18: Afghan military chief Gen Sher Mohammad Karimi visited Pakistan. While speaking at a passing out parade at the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA), Kakul, Gen Karimi called for “sincere” counter-terrorism cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

World in Focus 1Apr 19: China waived off insurance cost of five percent for public sector projects in Pakistan under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Apr 20: Pakistan and China agreed to elevate their bilateral relationship to ‘all-weather strategic cooperative partnership’ that envisages strong defence and security ties, continued nuclear energy cooperation and expansion of trade.

The two sides also kicked off the implementation of $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a combination of transport and energy projects, on the occasion of the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping who arrived in Islamabad on a two-day visit.

Apr 21: The Pak army formally announced the creation of a 10,000-man strong special force for protecting the development projects to be carried out under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the Chinese workers associated with them.

Apr 21: In a historic address to Pakistan’s parliament, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the two neighbours “must stick together to face threats to their existence.”

He lauded Pakistan’s role as a frontline state in the war against terrorism and said that China would help it strengthen its capabilities.

The 35-minute speech in Chinese, simultaneously interpreted in English and Urdu, was the first by a Chinese president to a joint sitting of the National Assembly and Senate. It followed pledges signed for Chinese investment worth $45 billion.

Apr 21: President Mamnoon Hussain conferred the country’s top civil award Nishan-i-Pakistan on Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Apr 22: Pakistan awarded $1.5 billion contract for its largest solar power project of 900MW in Bahawalpur to Zonergy Company Ltd. — a Chinese company which has the biggest solar power plant of only 170MW back home.

Apr 22: An accountability court in Rawalpindi annulled the sentence of former interior minister Senator Rehman Malik in two corruption references.

Apr 22: President Mamnoon Hussain reached Istanbul on a four-day official visit to Turkey. The president was visiting Turkey on the invitation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to attend the ceremony of centenary commemoration of Canakkale Battles in Turkey.

Apr 23: The first-ever deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) laboratory in Sindh was inaugurated by the Chief Minister Sindh. The lab will help the provincial police and health authorities get the DNA tests done especially during emergency situations.

Apr 23: Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s candidate Kanwar Naveed Jamil emerged victorious in by-election in the Karachi’s NA-246 constituency.

Apr 24: According to a UN-sponsored study, Pakistanis are the happier people as compared with the Indians.

Apr 24: Finance Ministry notified 9th National Finance Commission (NFC) to work out a mechanism to distribute resources between federal government and the provinces for the next five years.

Apr 24: Sabeen Mahmud, social media campaigner and human rights activist who founded the social forum T2F, was shot dead, minutes after the end of an interactive discussion ‘Unsilencing Balochistan’ organised by her.

Apr 25: The local government elections were held in 42 of the country’s 43 cantonment areas. The PML-N won 50 and the PTI could grab 28 wards.

Apr 26: A ‘mini-cyclone’ ripped through Peshawar and two other districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa killing at least 45 people while over 150 were injured.

Apr 27: The Balochistan Assembly adopted the Balochistan Urban Immovable Property Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2015. The bill was tabled by Minister for Revenue Jaffar Khan Mandokhel.

Apr 28: The Senate opened itself to the general public by creating a drop box on its official website where people can file petitions on public issues which can be taken up by the upper house of the parliament or can be referred to committees concerned.

Apr 28: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) gave a clean chit to vice chairman Pakistan People’s Party, Makhdoom Amin Fahim, in an inquiry against him regarding assets beyond known sources due to lack of incriminating evidence.

Apr 29: An assistant professor of Karachi University’s Mass Communication department, Dr Syed Waheed-ur-Rehman, was shot dead.

Apr 29: An MQM legislator Khawaja Izhar-ul-Hassan was appointed leader of the opposition in the Sindh Assembly.

Apr 30: A senior police officer of Police, SSP Malir Rao Anwar Ahmed Khan termed the MQM an ‘anti-state’ organisation and urged the federal government to ban it like Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and other similar organisations.

Apr 30: An anti-terrorism court sentenced 10 militants to life imprisonment for having been involved in the 2012 attack on Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai.

The judge, Mohammad Amin Kundi, announced the judgment at an undisclosed location because of security considerations.

Apr 30: Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) announced names of 233 qualified candidates as well as their allocation to various occupational groups and services in BS 17 under the federal government on the basis of CSS competitive examination, 2014.

May 01: Following the ISPR’s sharp reaction to MQM chief Altaf Hussain’s fiery speech, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) issued show-cause notices to 14 private TV channels and barred all channels from airing “inflammatory content”.

May 01: The World Bank approved a credit of $50 million to improve skills training programmes in priority growth sectors in Punjab.

The project aims to improve the quality, labour market relevance and access to the training programmes with a focus on the employability of graduate trainees.

The credit is financed from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group’s grant and low-interest arm.

May 01: Maulana Sufi Mohammad, the imprisoned chief of the banned Tehreek Nifaz-i-Shariat-i-Muhammadi (TNSM), issued an informal decree against Mulla Fazlullah-led TTP, declaring that members of the banned outfit lack the traits essential for a Muslim.

Time Magazine Cover of Malala YousafzaiMay 02: The Balochistan Assembly through a unanimous resolution condemned Altaf Hussain’s statement against the army and demanded the federal government to bring back ‘the head of the fascist organisation’ Altaf Hussain to Pakistan though Interpol and register a treason case against him.

May 02: Balochistan Assembly Speaker Jan Muhammad Jamali resigned from his post over differences with the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N).

May 04: An election tribunal annulled results of the NA-125 constituency and ordered a re-poll on the seat won by PML-N leader Khawaja Saad Rafique, the Railways Minister.

May 04: The Khyber Palchtunkhwa Assembly passed “The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Shops and Establishment Act, 2015” which requires the closure of shops, business centres and commercial and industrial establishments by 9pm.

May 04: Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Muhammad Amin Wains launched a Sharp Cops project. Giving the details of the project, he said that a list of 100 notorious characters had been compiled and 100 Sharp Cops were selected to use every legal method to bring them to justice.

May 05: Military’s top brass accused the Indian intelligence agency RAW of supporting terrorism in Pakistan.

An ISPR statement on a meeting of the Corps Commanders held at the General Headquarters (GHQ) said: “The Conference also took serious notice of RAW’s involvement in whipping up terrorism in Pakistan.”

May 05: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the first unit of the Quaid-iAzam Solar Power Park (QASP).

The 500-acre solar power park for the plant has been set up by the Punjab government in 11 months at a cost of Rs 15 billion with Chinese assistance. It went into trial run last month and is now providing 100MW to the national grid.

May 06: The President of the Maldives, Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, arrived on a two-day visit to Pakistan during which he would seek to expand bilateral ties.

May 06: Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop announced an assistance package of about $16 million for reconstruction projects in Pakistan’s areas affected by militancy and floods, and to support a trade initiative.

May 06: The senators unanimously approved the change in the emblem of the upper house of the parliament to reinforce the idea that the Senate is a symbol of the federation. The Senate’s new emblem will carry the words ‘House of Federation’ instead of ‘Senate of Pakistan’.

May 06: Lahore High Court Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah declared the law to sack civil servants without notice unconstitutional. The judge struck down Section 10 of the Civil Servants Act 1974, which says the services of a civil servant could be terminated without notice.

May 07: Pakistan and Maldives signed four memoranda of understanding (MoUs) for promoting bilateral ties besides agreeing to cooperate at the multilateral fora. The signing of the MoUs was witnessed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

May 07: Former provincial election commissioner (Punjab) Mehboob Anwar testified before the Judicial Commission that extra ballot papers for certain constituencies were printed during the elections and he did not seek any permission from the higher authorities in this regard.

May 08: An army helicopter ferrying foreign envoys and their spouses to the inauguration of a ski chairlift in scenic Naltar Valley crashed into a school, killing seven on board. The ambassadors of Norway and the Philippines were among the dead while the wives of the Ambassador of Indonesia and the High Commissioner of Malaysia, both pilots of the Mi-17 chopper and a crew member were also killed in the accident.

May 08: Pakistan, which is involved in a number of social and educational uplift projects in Sri Lanka benefiting not just the Muslims, but all communities in the island nation, donated a fully equipped Information Technology Laboratory to Sri Saddarmodaya Maha Vidyalaya (school) in Colombo.

May 08: A stupa dating back to the 3rd Century BC was discovered at the ancient Buddhist site of Badalpur near Taxila during excavations carried out by the Taxila Institute of Asian Civilisations (TIAC) of Quaid-i-Azam University.

May 09: The National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) disclosed that it had not been able to verify the thumb impressions of more than 93,000 votes polled in the constituency of National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq because of “poor quality of fingerprints”.

May 09: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif revived the policy of allotting two plots to all federal secretaries, Grade 22 officers and judges of the Supreme Court in Islamabad.

May 10: Newly-appointed governor of the Punjab, Rafique Rajwana, took oath as the 36th governor of Punjab.

May 11: The Election Commission of Pakistan barred PTI Chairman Imran Khan from campaigning for his party’s candidates in by-elections in three constituencies of the national and provincial assemblies.

May 11: The Supreme Court suspended the May 4 decision of an election tribunal to de-seat Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique. The tribunal had also ordered re-election in Lahore’s NA-125 constituency.

May 11: The Gwadar Port, which started its operations about eight years ago, for the first time handled commercial containerised cargo for export of seafood.

M V Zi Jingson, a bulk-break vessel of the China Overseas Shipping Co (Cosco), which reached Gwadar port’s outer anchorage was allotted berth to load reefer containers, laden with sea-food.

World in Focus 2May 11: Pakistan Army completed the induction training of FM-90 air defence missile system recently imported from China.

May 11: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced a top civil gallantry award, Sitara-e-Pakistan, for the foreign dignitaries who lost their lives in a tragic helicopter crash in Naltar Valley.

May 12: Saulat Mirza, the killer of the KESC’s former managing director Shahid Hamid, was hanged at Balochistan’s Mach Central Prison.

May 12: An election tribunal disqualified Rai Hasan Nawaz, a PTI MNA, for concealing his assets.

May 12: Eight members, among them four from opposition parties, were elected unopposed as chairmen of different standing committees of the Senate.

May 12: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) agreed to provide $6 billion over the next five years under the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), aligning its lending programme with the government’s ‘Vision 2025’.

May 13: Heavily armed militants struck and, in one of the most organised and ruthless attacks in the Karachi’s history, killed 43 commuters belonging to the Shia Ismaili community in a bus near Safoora Goth.

May 13: A meeting of the country’s top political leadership agreed to set up a special bicameral parliamentary committee for regular oversight of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.

May 13: Azam Khan Swati of PTI won the by-election on a Senate seat, which fell vacant after the death of ANP Senator Azam Khan Hoti.

May 13: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved Rs538.5 billion worth of 10 development projects for implementation, including the Rs165 billion Orange Line Metro Train Project for Lahore.

May 14: The Senate urged the government to immediately do necessary legislation for increasing the age-limit of candidates appearing in the CSS examinations.

It also asked the government to take up with the provinces the issue of growing issuance of fake domiciles and submit a report to the house within two months.

The decisions were announced by Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani through a ruling after a detailed discussion on the matter that had been raised through the recently launched ‘public petition system’ by the Senate.

May 15: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif launched the ‘Green Train’ service at the Margalla railway station.

May 15: Senator Saleem Mandviwalla was unanimously elected as the chairperson for the Senate’s Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Privatization.

ECONOMY

Apr 16: The government agreed with the IMF to slash the current year’s Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) by another Rs20 billion.

Apr 19: The Punjab government and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) — the largest bank in the world — signed an MoU under which the ICBC will open its branches in the Punjab province. The first branch of the bank will be opened in Lahore.

Apr 23: Bestway Cement Limited, a subsidiary of Bestway Group, took over Lafarge Cement plant located near Kallar Kahar.

Apr 28: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah appointed Abid Hussain Bhayyo and Akhtar Jadoon as his special assistants for the forest and local government departments respectively.

May 01: The Pak-Iran Border Commission decided to establish a hotline, open four new trade points and increase security forces’ patrolling along the borders.

Balochistan Chief Secretary Saifullah Chattah headed the Pakistani delegation at the three-day meeting held in the Iranian city of Zahidan. The governor of Sistan-Baluchestan led the Iranian team at the meeting.

May 05: Standard and Poor’s, one of the world’s big three credit-rating agencies, revised Pakistan’s average real GDP growth projection for 2015-17 to 4.6pc from 3.8pc. It also revised the country’s long-term ‘B minus’ credit rating to positive from stable.

May 07: The federal government approved the merger of KASB Bank Ltd with BankIslami Pakistan Ltd (BIPL).

The amalgamation also lifted a six-month moratorium imposed on the beleaguered bank in November 2014.

May 11: The government reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund for the disbursement of a tranche of $506 million next month as part of the $6.8 billion package under the Extended Fund Facility.

APPOINTMENTS & TRANSFERS

Apr 16: The Punjab government appointed Ms Farkhanda Waseem Afzal as provincial ombudswoman. Ms Afzal has a vast administrative experience and has served at different posts.

Apr 23: The government appointed Mohammad Naeem as chairman of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission for a period of three years.

May 05: The government promoted Air Commodore Tahir Abdul Majeed Ranjha to the rank of Air Vice Marshal.

May 15: The federal government assigned the charge of chairman of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to its executive member and Grade-20 Police Service Officer Kamaluddin Tipu, who will perform his obligations as Pemra’s acting chairman.

EDUCATION

General Raheel Sharif Visits NaltarApr 16: The Punjab government notified a 17-member Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) while allocating Rs37 million to activate it immediately. The term of a member other than an ex-officio member would be four years or till the completion of tenure as an official, whichever is earlier.

Apr 21: Around 1.8 million children, nearly a tenth of all enrolled students in Pakistan, study in religious seminaries, according to a report launched by the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training.

May 06: GCU Lahore established a latest Nano-Chemistry Laboratory on the campus to advance research in the fields of Solar Cells, Nano-Catalysis, Nano-Filtration, Nano-Forensics, Nano-Drugs, Nano-Fertilisers and Waste Water Treatment. The charge of Director Nano-Chemistry Laboratory has been given to eminent Chemist Prof Dr Muhammad Akhyar Farrukh.

May 07: The Balochistan government and Oracle Corporation, a US multinational computer technology firm, signed an MoU (memorandum of understanding) under which the latter will impart advanced training to IT (information technology) professionals in Balochistan.

SPORTS

Apr 17: Aces from Lahore clinched the National Bridge Championship by accumulating 139 International Match Points (IMPs).

Apr 21: The International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed that Mohammad Hafeez’s and Javeria Khan’s actions were cleared following remedial work and retests, stating that both Pakistan bowlers could now resume bowling at international level.

Apr 24: Bangladesh recorded their first-ever Twenty20 win over Pakistan with a seven-wicket romp in Dhaka.

Apr 26: Pakistan Davis Cup captain Rashid Malik won the 55 plus singles title at the Phuket ITF Seniors Pro Circuit Grade 4 Tournament.

Apr 27: A brilliant all-round performance by Zaka Ahmed helped Pakistan win the inaugural Asia Deaf T20 Cricket Cup, as they recorded an impressive 50-run win over arch-rivals India in the final.

Apr 27: Nasir Iqbal clinched the Men’s FMC International Squash title by prevailing over struggling Aamir Atlas Khan in the final played.

Apr 30: Excise and Taxation Department of Punjab officials accompanied by dozens of police officers sealed the Gaddafi Stadium, claiming to be acting in accordance with the orders of the Lahore High Court pertaining to application of property tax.

Apr 30: Pakistan’s top cueist Hamza Akbar made his country proud when he stunned Indian celebrity of the baize game Pankaj Advani to win the 31st Asian Snooker Championship at Kuala Lumpur.

General Raheel Sharif with Afghan and US Militry ChiefsMay 08: Pakistan cricket team became the only Asian side who has hit 1000 sixes in Test cricket.

The Green Shirts got this unique achievement when Azhar Ali hit his first six in the first inning against Bangladesh where he managed to score a big double ton. Before this match Pakistan and India shared the 995 sixes each in the Test cricket while Pakistan has now surpassed that milestone.

May 08: Pakistan’s skipper Misbah-ul-Haq became the first Pakistani skipper who has declared more innings than any other skipper of the Green Shirts.

May 09: Pakistan crushed Bangladesh by 328 runs in the second and final Test in Dhaka to clinch the series 1-0. Leg-spinner Yasir Shah claimed a match haul of seven wickets.

May 11: Previously tainted Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir made a fairytale entry into the major realm of domestic cricket.

May 11: Pakistan’s Mohammad’s Afzal won a gold medal in the triple jump event at the inaugural Asian Youth Athletics Championship in Doha, Qatar.

OBITUARIES

Apr 22: Imtiaz Aalam Hanfi, a former governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), died at the age of 86.

He headed the central bank for about four years during his two stints August 17, 1988 to September 2, 1989 and September 1, 1990 to June 30, 1993.

Apr 23: Former first-class cricketer and ex-international umpire Afzaal Ahmed Rizvi died at 66.

Apr 23: Former federal minister, Ahmed Saeed Awan, died.

Apr 24: Abdul Quddoos, senior journalist and a former member of the Sindh Assembly, died in Karachi.

Apr 27: A son of former governor and chief minister of Balochistan late Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, and the chief of Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) Nawabzada Talal Akbar Bugti, died. He was 63.

May 03: Renowned scholar, writer, researcher and nationalist leader Abdul Wahid Arisar passed away in Karachi. He was 66.

May 11: Syed Shahid Husain, a well-known economist and former senior vice president at the World Bank, passed away. He was 83.

PEOPLE IN NEWS

Mushahid Hussain Syed

Apr 21: Chinese President Xi Jinping conferred “Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence Friendship Award” on Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, chairman of the Pakistan China Institute.

Sadruddin Hashwani

Apr 21: Ambassador of Belgium to Pakistan Peter Claes officially presented Hashoo Group Chairman Sadruddin Hashwani the Golden Medal of the Civil Cross First Class.

Ghulam Jillani

May 01: Seventy-year-old Ghulam Jillani who had worked on the construction of Clifton flyover and underpasses inaugurated the Rs1.5 billion project sponsored by a private developer, Bahria Town, on the eve of International Labour Day.

Muhammad Humza Shahzad

May 05: A 6-year-old British Pakistani boy became the youngest MS Office professional by passing the Microsoft certification in MS Office 2013.

Muhammad Humza Shahzad, who lives in London’s East Croydon, scored 757 while the required score is 700.

Hosseinisasab Sadatalshariyeh

May 06: A research scholar from the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ms Hosseinisasab Sadatalshariyeh, became the first international student to complete her PhD from the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore.

PLACES IN NEWS

Karachi

Apr 22: A seminar titled ‘Issues of Good Governance in South Asia under the Federal System: Devolution, Development and Democratisation’ was organised by the Area Study Centre for Europe, Karachi University where the speakers mainly discussed the devolution of power, its impact on development projects and distribution of funds.

Apr 22: Pakistan’s Fourth Islamic Finance Expo and Conference kicked off in Karachi. Speaking at the inauguration of the two-day event, the SECP chief, Zafar Hijazi, said the SECP is centralising the activities of the Shariah-related capital market, introduction of Shariah regulations for takaful, modarabas, Islamic mutual funds, Islamic pension funds and other Shariah-compliant products.

Islamabad

Apr 27: The graduation ceremony of the 34th Specialised Diplomatic Course was held at the Foreign Services Academy (FSA). Speaking at the occasion, President Mamnoon Hussain told diplomats that while acquainting themselves with challenges of the day, they should be ready to face the breaking news culture. The president advised the diplomats that they should also show their capability in public and economic diplomacy in international law and politics.

Quetta

May 05: A seminar titled ‘Save the Children and Mercy Corps,’ jointly organised by MNCH Programme, Quetta and the provincial health department was held to mark the International Midwives’ Day.

Lahore

May 05: A workshop organized by SMEDA in collaboration with Saarc to kick off the Saarc Trade promotion project to promote textile/Garments Value Chains across Saarc region was held in Lahore. Chief Executive Officer SMEDA Muhammad Alamgir Chaudhry, addressing the workshop said that South Asia remains one of the least integrated regions in the world with intra-regional trade less than 6.0 percent of the total trade.

International

Apr 16: Jamal Benomar, the UN special envoy for Yemen, stepped down from his post amid criticism of his failure to broker an end to the conflict in the country.

Apr 16: India successfully test-fired its nuclear-capable surface-to-surface Agni-III ballistic missile, with a range of over 3,000 km, from a base in Odisha.

UN High Commissioner for RefugeesApr 17: Experts discovered a World War II US aircraft carrier that was “amazingly intact” despite languishing on the bottom of the Pacific for more than 60 years.

Apr 17: The United Nations called upon international community to urgently provide $273.7 million to meet the life-saving and protection needs of 7.5 million people affected by the escalating conflict in Yemen.

Apr 17: France’s Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, announced that the government would pour 100 million euros into a major anti-racism and anti-Semitism action plan devised in the aftermath of the deadly Paris attacks.

Apr 17: More than 800 members of the Hindu Valmiki community converted to Islam in the Rampur district of India’s Uttar Pradesh province on April 14 to save their homes from demolition.

Apr 18: The marginalised Russian opposition parties of slain Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov and arch Putin foe Alexei Navalny announced to form an alliance for legislative polls in 2016.

Apr 19: “The Golden Era”, a biopic of an acclaimed Chinese writer in the 1930s, won praise from the Hong Kong’s prestigious film academy, scooping five prizes including best movie at the Hong Kong Film Awards.

Apr 19: Up to 700 people were feared drowned after an overcrowded boat smuggling them to Europe capsized off Libya in the latest and deadliest in a long list of migrant disasters in the Mediterranean.

Apr 21: The Saudi-led coalition declared an end to air strikes in Yemen, saying the threat of rebels there had been removed and that operations were entering a political phase.

Apr 21: Japan’s state-of-the-art maglev train clocked a new world speed record in a test run near Mount Fuji, smashing through the 600 kilometre per hour mark.

The seven-car maglev train short for “magnetic levitation” hit a top speed of 603 kilometres an hour, and managed nearly 11 seconds at over 600kph

Apr 21: Sweden inaugurated the world’s first remote air control tower at the northern Ornskoldsvik airport.

Apr 21: Etihad Airways won the Crystal Cabin Award 2015, in the premium class & VIP category, for its innovative Airbus A380 upper deck cabin designs and products.

Apr 22: New York, America’s biggest city with about 8.5 million residents, marked Earth Day with the announcement by its Mayor Bill de Blasio of unveiling his sweeping One NYC plan to reduce city’s waste output by 90 per cent by 2030.

NYC would be the largest city in the Western Hemisphere to adopt such a plan.

Apr 23: Former CIA Director David Petraeus, whose career was destroyed by an extramarital affair with his biographer, was sentenced to two years’ probation and fined $100,000 for giving her classified material while she was working on the book.

Apr 23: Switzerland topped a global ranking of happiness, closely followed by Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Canada in the 2015 World Happiness Report; the third annual report that seeks to quantify and explain happiness in 158 countries.

Apr 24: The Hollywood star and a special envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Angelina Jolie criticised the UN Security Council’s failure to end the war in Syria, as she appealed for urgent help for the growing ranks of Syrian refugees.

Apr 24: India launched a crackdown on the Ford Foundation, saying the US charity can no longer give money to local organisations without government permission, the latest move against a foreign NGO.

Apr 25: A powerful earthquake struck Nepal, killing at least 1,300 people across four countries as the violently shaking ground destroyed houses, levelled centuries-old temples and triggered avalanches on Mt Everest.

Apr 25: India delivered three military choppers to Kabul, weeks before the Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani made his first visit to New Delhi.

Apr 26: Turkish Cypriots voted in a new leader, with challenger Mustafa Akinci beating incumbent Dervis Eroglu in a run-off poll that could accelerate UN-backed efforts to reunify the long-divided island.

Apr 27: The United States and Japan unveiled new rules for defence cooperation in a move to give Japanese armed forces a more ambitious global role amid concerns over China’s rising sway.

Under the revised guidelines, Japan could come to the aid of US forces threatened by a third country.

Apr 27: Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir was elected to another five years in office by receiving more than 94 per cent of the vote.

Apr 27: A United Nations inquiry blamed the Israeli military for seven attacks on UN schools in Gaza that were used as shelters during the 2014 war.

Apr 27: Voters in Kazakhstan re-elected Nursultan Nazarbayev, an incumbent who has ruled the country since the Soviet Union collapsed, for a fifth straight term. He garnered 97.7 per cent of the vote amid a record 95 per cent turnout.

Apr 28: The Sri Lankan parliament passed a constitutional amendment bill to restrict the draconian powers of the executive presidency and set up independent commissions to de-politicise judiciary, bureaucracy, police and the election commission. The amendment also envisages restoration of a two-term limit for the presidency.

Apr 29: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman made Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef, 55, crown prince and Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman, 30, the deputy crown prince, effectively deciding the line of succession for decades to come in the kingdom.

May 01: The German intelligence service BND, which is accused of helping the United States spy on EU leaders and companies, actually “deleted 12,000 requests” targeting European officials.

May 02: The wife of Prince William, Kate, gave birth to a baby girl as Britain celebrated the royal family’s new fourth in line to the throne.

Local Government Elections in PakistanMay 03: Tunisians unfurled a national flag the size of 19 football pitches in a bid to set a Guinness world record and promote patriotism.

May 04: Chinese Communist Party chief Xi Jinping warned against Taiwan being seen as a country as he met the head of the island’s ruling party, the first such encounter in seven years.

May 04: Prince William and his wife Kate named their two-day-old baby Charlotte Elizabeth Diana and she will be known as Princess Charlotte of Cambridge.

May 04: A baby born in a Pakistan Army field hospital in Nepal was named ‘Pakistan’. The child is the second to have been born at the field hospital, which was set up by the Pakistan Army as part of Pakistan’s relief efforts in earthquake-struck Nepal.

May 05: An Austrian men’s magazine “Vangardist” printed its latest edition using blood from people who are HIV positive in order to counter the “stigma” often attached to the virus that causes AIDS.

May 06: The United Arab Emirates’ planned 2020 mission to Mars will study the planet’s atmosphere and be appropriately named “Hope”, members of the project team revealed.

May 06: Bollywood superstar Salman Khan was sentenced to five years in prison for killing a homeless man with his SUV in a 2002 hit-and-run incident.

May 07: Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, the wife of jailed Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, won her husband’s parliamentary seat in a by-election.

May 07: US courts convicted several soldiers in Afghanistan for their part in selling $15 million worth of military fuel to Afghans.

May 07: Israel approved construction of 900 settler homes in annexed east Jerusalem, shortly after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu formed a new rightwing religious coalition.

May 08: British Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives won a stunning victory in Britain’s election, which cut short the careers of his top three rivals and put the country’s future in the European Union in doubt.

Mr Cameron won 331 of the 650 parliament seats and a new term as head of a majority Tory government.

May 08: Scotland’s nationalists swept to a “watershed” victory north of the border in Britain’s general election. The Scottish National Party (SNP) won 56 of 59 parliamentary seats in Scotland.

May 08: A US spying programme that systematically collects millions of Americans’ phone records was declared illegal by a federal appeals court, putting pressure on Congress to quickly decide whether to replace or end the controversial anti-terrorism surveillance.

May 09: The UN health agency declared Liberia Ebola-free, hailing the “monumental” achievement in the West African country where the virus has killed more than 4,700 people.

May 09: North Korea successfully test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) — a technology that could eventually offer the nuclear-armed state a survivable second-strike capability.

May 11: Indian private banker K.V. Kamath was named as the first head of a new development bank being set up by the BRICS nations.

The BRICS, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa announced last year that they were forming the development bank to be headquartered in Shanghai.

May 11: British Prime Minister David Cameron unveiled his new cabinet. He named the mayor of London and potential leadership contender Boris Johnson, known for his bumbling image and mop-top hairstyle, to a senior political role but not a ministerial position.

May 12: A painting by Pablo Picasso set a world record for an art work at a New York auction, selling for $179.4 million.

A statue by Alberto Giacometti set a record for the most expensive sculpture, at $141.3m at the same auction.

May 13: The Vatican officially recognised the state of Palestine in a new treaty finalised, immediately sparking Israeli ire and accusations that the move hurt peace prospects.

May 14: Chinese President Xi Jinping hosted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his ancestral hometown at the start of a three-day visit to China.

May 15: President Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi returned to his presidential palace in the capital, after a military coup failed.

May 15: Mali’s government and allied fighters signed a peace accord.

May 15: The United States and members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) agreed to develop joint ballistic missiles capability and an early warning system to prevent any external threat to the Arab states.

May 15: Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel became the first European Union leader to enter into a same-sex union when he married his gay partner.

ECONOMY

Apr 16: As many as 18 per cent of adults in South Asia own a debit card compared to 31pc in developing countries on average, says a World Bank report.

Apr 22: Tesco, Britain’s biggest retailer, posted a record full-year loss of 5.7 billion pounds ($8.5bn) as deteriorating market conditions forced it to write down the value of supermarkets and other assets.

May 02: China for the first time overtook the United States as Australia’s largest source of foreign investment, laying out Aus$27.7 billion ($21.8bn) in 2013-14 as real estate purchases more than doubled.

Corn ModifiedMay 04: Putting the infrastructure financing needs of developing Asia at $8 trillion until 2020, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehilco Nakao announced scaling up Bank’s annual operations by 50 per cent to $20 billion for sustainable development of infrastructure to achieve inclusive growth and poverty reduction.

ADB told the board of directors that about 40pc or 1.4bn population in Asia, based on a new poverty measure of Asia-specific consumption basket, was absolute poor.

May 07: Asia-Pacific will continue to outperform the rest of the world but a slower growth in China and Japan poses new risks to the region, said the IMF’s biannual report “Regional Economic Outlook for Asia and the Pacific”.

May 08: Russia and China signed a $25 billion deal to boost Chinese lending to Russian firms and a host of other accords deepening economic cooperation as Moscow’s ties with the West fray over the Ukraine crisis.

May 11: China overtook the United States as the world’s top importer of crude oil for the first time in April, and its purchases are expected to remain strong despite a slowing economy, with far-reaching consequences for global oil and commodities markets.

NOMINATIONS & APPOINTMENTS

Apr 25: United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of Ismail Ould Cheilch Ahmed of Mauritania as his Special Envoy for Yemen, replacing Jamal Benomar

Apr 30: US President Barack Obama announced to nominate Gayle E. Smith as Administrator of the US Agency for International Development.

If confirmed by the Senate, Ms Smith, a long-time development and Africa specialist in the Clinton and Obama administrations, would succeed Dr Rajiv Shah, who left the agency in February after five years on the job.

May 05: President Barack Obama nominated Marine General Joseph Dunford as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

SPORTS

Apr 18: Caster Semenya reclaimed the South African 800-metre title.

Apr 18: James Anderson became England’s leading wicket-taker in Test history. He surpassed the record tally of 383 wickets by former all-rounder Sir Ian Botham when he dismissed West Indian captain Denesh Ramdin on the final day of the first Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.

Apr 18: Britain’s Adam Peaty set a new men’s 100 metres breaststroke world record with a time of 57.92 seconds beating the previous record of 58.46sec set by South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh at the same venue during the 2012 Olympic Games.

Apr 19: Bangladesh’s Tamim Iqbal smashed a second consecutive century to steer Bangladesh to their first-ever One-day International series win over Pakistan.

Apr 22: The International Cricket Council (ICC) received the Innovation award in the inaugural Sport Business Ultimate Sports Federation and Association Awards in recognition of the ICC’s progressive approach including the successful introduction and integration of men’s and women’s Twenty20 international cricket, the use of on-field technology and its suite of pioneering digital and social media programmes.

Apr 22: Bangladesh whitewashed Pakistan in One-day International series for the first time after winning the third match by an eight wickets in Dhaka.

May 03: Chelsea clinched their first Premier League title for five years with a typically stubborn 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace.

May 03: Floyd Mayweather cemented his place in the pantheon of boxing greats with an emphatic win over Manny Pacquiao.

May 04: Jamaica won the showcase 4×200 metres relay without Usain Bolt as their American rivals dropped the baton on the second and final day of the IAAF World Relays meet.

May 04: World number one Rory McIlroy added the WGC World Match Play Championship to his four majors with a victory over US journeyman Gary Woodland in the final.

May 04: Andy Murray won the first clay-court title of his career when he saw off Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber in the final of Munich’s ATP tournament.

May 12: Chelsea winger Eden Hazard was named the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year, chalking up another accolade to add to his PFA Player of the Year award.

OBITUARIES

Apr 16: Barbara Strauch, a reporter and editor who wrote two books about the brain and directed health and science coverage for The New York Times for a decade, died. She was 63.

Apr 21: French secret agent Robert “Bob” Maloubier, a sabotage specialist for Winston Churchill’s Special Operations Executive during World War II, died at the age of 92.

Apr 21: Egyptian poet Abdel Rahman El Abnoudy, who channelled folklore and rural life into verses that touched the Arab world, died. He was 77.

Apr 22: Frederic Morton, who left Austria as a boy as his family fled from the Nazis and made a celebrated literary career in the United States, died in Vienna. He was 90.

Britains Biggest Corporatel LossesApr 23: Betty Willis, a commercial artist whose 25-foot-high neon sign blazingly and irrevocably linked Las Vegas with fabulousness, died. She was 91.

Apr 24: Sawyer Sweeten, known for his role as one of twin sons in the US sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond”, committed suicide aged 19.

Apr 26: M. H. Abrams, who transformed the study of Romanticism with the critical histories “The Mirror and the Lamp” and “Natural Supernaturalism,” and who edited the first seven editions of “The Norton Anthology of English Literature,” a virtual Bible in literature survey courses, died. He was 102.

Apr 29: Jack Ely, whose 1963 song “Louie Louie” was so unintelligible that the US government investigated it for secret messages, died aged 71.

May 01: Ben E. King, the soul singer, whose Gospel-influenced “Stand By Me” became one of the most broadcast songs of the 20th century, died at 76.

May 02: Bestselling British crime writer Ruth Rendell, who wrote over 60 books in a career spanning five decades, died at the age of 85. Rendell also wrote under the pseudonym Barbara Vine.

May 03: Dave Goldberg, the chief executive of Survey Monkey and the husband of Sheryl K. Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, died. He was 47.

May 04: Ruth Rendell, a prolific and hugely popular writer of intricately plotted mystery novels that combined psychological insight, social conscience and, not infrequently, teeth-chattering terror, died. She was 85.

May 07: Hot chocolate lead singer Errol Brown died at the age of 71. Hot Chocolate was known for hits such as “Emma” and “Every 1’s a Winner”.

May 07: Jim Wright, a driven Texas Democrat who rose to the pinnacle of congressional power before ethics charges forced his resignation as speaker of the House in 1989, died. He was 92.

May 10: Former Turkish president Kenan Evren, convicted in 2014 for his key role in the country’s bloody 1980 coup, died. He was 97.

May 15: Blues legend B.B. King, whose crisp but powerful guitar licks ranked him among the instrument’s greatest masters, died at 89.

PEOPLE IN NEWS

John Key

Apr 22: New Zealand Prime Minister John Key publicly apologised to a waitress who labelled him a “schoolyard bully” for repeatedly pulling her ponytail on visits to her cafe.

Haidee Tiffen

Apr 23: Haidee Tiffen, the former New Zealand all-rounder, was named the new coach of the New Zealand women’s side.

Dr Khalid al-Ghamidi

Apr 24: Imam of the Grand Mosque in Makkah Dr Khalid al-Ghamidi visited Lahore. In the Friday sermon he delivered at the jam-packed Bahria Town mosque, he said that Islam does not allow religious prejudice and bias and teaches Muslims to love other people. Islam also teaches Muslims to protect places of worship of other religions.

Mazen Darwish

May 03: The UN’s cultural body awarded its annual press freedom prize to Mazen Darwish, a Syrian journalist and rights activist who has been jailed by the regime for more than three years.

Frank Freshwater

May 05: An Ohio prison escapee, Frank Freshwater, 79, who was on the run since the Eisenhower administration, was finally caught. Frank escaped in 1959 and was caught at a home in Melbourne, Florida.

George Galloway

May 08: A colourful left-wing politician nicknamed “Gorgeous George” Galloway suffered a disaster in Britain’s election as he lost his seat to Pakistan-origin Naz Shah and was reported to police for breaking election rules.

Mhairi Black

May 08: At the age of just 20, Mhairi Black became Britain’s youngest member of parliament since 1667. Black still has to complete her final exams at Glasgow University but will now be putting her politics degree into practice as the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP) MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South.

Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh

May 08: Former Pakistani television actress Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh became a British MP after her victory over two constituencies in Scotland in the 2015 UK elections.

Adrianne Lewis

May 09: Adrianne Lewis hit the news when it was revealed that she has the world’s longest tongue – measuring a whopping 4 inches. The 18-year-old is now globally recognised after a photo of her sticking her tongue out went viral online. Her serpent-like appendage can touch her nose, chin, elbow, and even her eye with a little help.

Bernhard Schmid

May 11: Artist Bernhard Schmid creates chairs grown from one single piece of either maple, hazelnut or hornbeam wood by letting the trees grow into their final design over some 20 years. No nails, screws or glue are used in the process.

Martin Schulz

May 14: European parliament president Martin Schulz received the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen (Karlspreis). The International prestigious Charlemagne Prize of Aachen is the oldest and best-known prize awarded for work done in the service of European unification.

World in Focus 3

PLACES IN NEWS

Hainan, China

Apr 18: A three-day conference in the Chinese island of Hainan decided to launch a new Joint Pakistan-China Think Tank dedicated solely to research and development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Beijing, China

Apr 30: Beijing environmental officials levied a record fine of 3.8 million yuan ($650,000) against Beijing Simplot Food Processing company — a french fry supplier to the McDonald’s restaurant chain in China — for releasing dirty wastewater. This was Beijing’s biggest-ever pollution fine.

Bhaktapur, Nepal

Apr 30: The first baby born at a hospital set up in Nepal by Pakistan Army was named Lahore.

Pakistan has sent relief goods and rescue teams to the earthquake-devastated Himalayan nation, including army paramedics who have set up a 30-bed field hospital in the town of Bhaktapur in the Kathmandu valley.

Camp David, USA

May 11: Leaders of Gulf nations gathered in Camp David as they were unnerved by Washington’s nuclear talks with Iran and Tehran’s meddling across the Mideast. They urged President Barack Obama to promise more than words and weapons at the Camp David summit.

Sochi, Russia

May 12: US Secretary of State John Kerry met Russian President Vladimir Putin in a bid to ease badly strained relations over the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, but the tone ahead of the meeting didn’t augur well for a breakthrough on any of the many issues dividing the two powers.

On his first trip to Russia since the Ukraine crisis began, Kerry held more than four hours of talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at a hotel in the Black Sea resort of Sochi before seeing Putin at his presidential residence in the city.

National

1. The present National Assembly Standing Committee on Information Technology is chaired by ______.
(a) Abid Sher Ali
(b) Tehmina Daultana
(c) Capt Mohammad Safdar
(d) Hamza Shahbaz Sharif

2. On April 16, the Government of the Punjab established the Punjab Higher Education Commission which consists of ______ members.
(a) 14        (b) 15
(c) 17        (d) 20

3. The incumbent chairperson of Human rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) is ______.
(a) I.A. Rehman    (b) Zohra Yusuf
(c) Nawaz Sharif    (d) Aitzaz Ahsan

4. On Apr 17, the ADB and the government of Pakistan signed a $42.9 million loan agreement for upgrading water management and irrigation systems in.
(a) Fata        (b) KP
(c) DG Khan    (d) Gilgit

5. On Apr 21, Pak Army created a special force comprising ______ men for protecting the development projects under the CPEC and the Chinese workers associated with them.
(a) 8,000        (b) 10,000
(c) 12,000    (d) 15,000

6. President Xi Jinping is the ______ Chinese president to address a joint sitting of Pakistan’s National Assembly and Senate.
(a) First        (b) Second
(c) Third        (d) Fourth

7. Pakistan’s highest civil award is ______.
(a) Hilal-e-Pakistan
(b) Nishan-e-Pakistan
(c) Sitara-e-Pakistan
(d) Tamgha-e-Pakistan

8. The incumbent chairman of Islamabad-based Pakistan-China Institute is ______.
(a) Zafar Iqbal Jhagra
(b) Humayun Akhtar Khan
(c) Mushahid Hussain Syed
(d) Hina Rabbani Khar

9. The first-ever deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) laboratory in Sindh was inaugurated on ______.
(a) Apr 21    (b) Apr 23
(c) Apr 25    (d) Apr 27

10. To work out a mechanism to distribute resources between federal government and the provinces for the next five years, the Finance Ministry notified 9th National Finance Commission (NFC) on ______.
(a) Apr 22    (b) Apr 24
(c) Apr 26    (d) Apr 29

11. On Apr 25, local government elections were held in 42 of the country’s ______ cantonment areas.
(a) 43        (b) 45
(c) 47        (d) 49

12. On Apr 28, ______ was appointed as special assistant to CM Sindh for the forest department.
(a) Owais Muzaffar
(b) Sharmila Farooqi
(c) Abid Hussain Bhayyo
(d) Akhtar Jadoon

13. On Apr 29, a/an ______ legislator, Khawaja Izhar-ul-Hassan, was appointed leader of the opposition in the Sindh Assembly.
(a) JI         (b) MQM
(c) PMLN        (d) PTI

14. On May 01, the Pak-Iran Border Commission decided to open ______ new trade points.
(a) Four        (b) Six
(c) Seven    (d) Eight

15. On May 01, the World Bank approved a credit of $50 million to improve skills training programmes in priority growth sectors in ______.
(a) Sindh     (b) KP
(c) Punjab    (d) Balochistan

16. On May 02, Balochistan Assembly Speaker ______ resigned from his post over differences with the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N).
(a) Irfan Qaisar Baloch
(b) Jan Muhammad Jamali
(c) Matiullah Jan
(d) Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo

17. May 05, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the first unit of the Quaid-i-Azam Solar Power Park (QASP) at ______.
(a) DI Khan    (b) DG Khan
(c) Mailsi    (d) Multan

18. The ______ province has the highest mother mortality rate in the Pakistan.
(a) Balochistan    (b) KP
(c) Sindh        (d) Punjab

19. On May 05, ______ revised Pakistan’s average real GDP growth projection for 2015-17 to 4.6pc from 3.8pc.
(a) International Ratings Group
(b) Moody’s Investors Service
(c) Big Data Scoring
(d) Standard and Poor’s

20. On May 06, the ______ Foreign Minister Julie Bishop announced an assistance package of about $16 million for reconstruction projects in Pakistan’s areas affected by militancy and floods.
(a) Japanese    (b) Australian
(c) Chinese    (d) Turkish

21. On May 06, the senators unanimously approved the change in the emblem of the senate which will now carry words ______ instead of ‘Senate of Pakistan’.
(a) House of Pakistan
(b) The Upper Chamber
(c) House of Federation
(d) The Senate

22. On May 06, an ______ research scholar, Ms Hosseinisasab Sadatalshariyeh, became the first international student to complete her PhD from the UET Lahore.
(a) Iranian    (b) Iraqi
(c) Afghan    (d) Indonesian

23. On May 07, the federal government approved the merger of ______ Bank Ltd. with BankIslami Pakistan Ltd (BIPL).
(a) Saudi-Pak     (b) Arif Habib
(c) KASB        (d) Al Baraka

24. On May 08, in a tragic copter crash in Gilgit’s Naltar Valley, the ambassadors of Norway and the ______ died at the spot.
(a) Thailand    (b) Indonesia
(c) China    (d) Philippines

25. On May 08, a stupa dating back to the 3rd Century BC was discovered at the ancient Buddhist site of Badalpur near ______.
(a) Thatta    (b) Taxila
(c) Badin        (d) Mehrgarh

26. On May 10, Rafique Rajwana took oath as the ______ governor of Punjab.
(a) 36th        (b) 37th
(c) 38th        (d) 39th

27. On_____ , the Gwadar Port, for the first time, handled commercial containerised cargo for export.
(a) May 09    (b) May 10
(c) May 11    (d) May 12

28. On May 15, a Grade-20 Police Service Officer, Kamaluddin Tipu, was made the acting chairman of ______.
(a) Pemra    (b) Ogra
(c) Nepra    (d) HEC

29. The spring festival known as the Chilimjusht festival is celebrated by the ______ people.
(a) Balti        (b) Kalasha
(c) Khowar    (d) Darapur

International

1. On Apr 16, India successfully test-fired its nuclear-capable surface-to-surface ______ ballistic missile, with a range of over 3,000 km.
(a) Prithvi-III    (b) Prithvi-IV
(c) Agni-III    (d) Agni-IV

2. Manuel Valls is the current Prime Minister of ______.
(a) Germany    (b) Poland
(c) France    (d) Switzerland

3. With more than $3 trillion in assets, Industrial and Commercial Bank of ______ is the biggest bank in the world.
(a) Switzerland    (b) China
(c) Australia    (d) Japan

4. The Saudi-led coalition declared an end to air strikes in Yemen on ______.
(a) Apr 21    (b) Apr 22
(c) Apr 24    (d) Apr 25

5. A ______ maglev train clocked a new world speed record in a test run when it hit a top speed of 603 kilometres an hour.
(a) England’s    (b) USA’s
(c) Japan’s    (d) China’s

6. On Apr 21, ______ inaugurated the world’s first remote air control tower.
(a) Japan    (b) Denmark
(c) Canada    (d) Sweden

7. An atomic clock named the “optical lattice” uses ______ atoms.
(a) Beryllium    (b) Strontium
(c) Polonium    d) Barium

8. ‘Stupa’ is related to ______.
(a) Jainism     (b) Judaism
(c) Buddhism    (d) Taoism

9. ______ is America’s biggest city with about 8.5 million residents.
(a) Washington    (b) New Jersey
(c) Overton    (d) New York

10. On Apr 21, Etihad Airways, the airline of ______ won the Crystal Cabin Award 2015, in the premium class & VIP category.
(a) Kuwait    (b) UAE
(c) Qatar     (d) Saudi Arabia

11. According to the 2015 World Happiness Report, ______ topped global ranking of happiness.
(a) Switzerland    (b) Denmark
(c) Norway    (d) Iceland

12. On Apr 24, ______ launched a crackdown on the Ford Foundation, saying the US charity can no longer give money to local organisations without government permission.
(a) Pakistan    (b) China
(c) Thailand     (d) India

13. Imam of the Grand Mosque in Makkah is ______.
(a) Mehdi Al-Khalissi
(b) Dr Khalid al-Ghamidi
(c) Abu Yusuf Riyadh ul Haq
(d) Taha Abdul-Basser

14. On Apr 25, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appointed Ismail Ould Cheilch Ahmed of Mauritania as his Special Envoy for ______.
(a) Yemen    (b) Kashmir
(c) Palestine    (d) Syria

15. On Apr 25, India delivered three military choppers to______.
(a) Bangladesh    (b) Maldives
(c) Afghanistan    (d) Sri Lanka

16. On Apr 27, the ______ and Japan unveiled new rules for defence cooperation in a move to give Japanese armed forces a more ambitious global role.
(a) S. Korea    (b) United States
(c) Taiwan    (d) Germany

17. On Apr 27, the incumbent President of ______ Nursultan Nazarbayev was re-elected for a fifth straight term.
(a) Tajikistan    (b) Kazakhstan
(c) Azerbaijan    (d) Turkmenistan

18. On Apr 29, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman appointed ______ as the new crown prince and Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman as the deputy crown prince.
(a) Mohammed bin Nayef
(b) Muqrin bin Abdulaziz
(c) Saud bin Abdul Muhsin
(d) Abdul Majeed bin Abdulaziz

19. BND is the intelligence agency of ______.
(a) Russia    (b) France
(c) Switzerland     (d) Germany

20. On May 03, the UN’s cultural body awarded its annual press freedom prize to Mazen Darwish, a ______ journalist and rights activist.
(a) Egyptian     (b) Syrian
(c) Lebanese     (d) Iraqi

21. The ninth, and the incumbent, President of the Manila-based Asian Development Bank is ______.
(a) Haruhiko Kuroda
(b) Tadao Chino
(c) Takehiko Nakao
(d) Mitsuo Sato

22. On May 05, a/an ______ men’s magazine “Vangardist” printed its latest edition using blood from people who are HIV positive.
(a) Austrian    (b) Australian
(c) Swedish    (d) Polish

23. On May 07, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, the wife of jailed ______ opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, won her husband’s parliamentary seat in a by-election.
(a) Indonesian     (b) Sudanese
(c) Malaysian    (d) Turkish

24. On May 07, Israel approved construction of ______ settler homes in annexed east Jerusalem.
(a) 600        (b) 700
(c) 800        (d) 900

25. In UK General Elections 2015, Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative party won ______ seats out of a total of 650.
(a) 324        (b) 331
(c) 337        (d) 345

26. On May 08, ______ and China signed a $25 billion deal to boost Chinese lending to the former’s firms.
(a) Russia    (b) Pakistan
(c) Nigeria    (d) Kazakhstan

27. On May 09, the UN health agency WHO declared ______ Ebola-free, hailing the “monumental” achievement in the west African country where the virus has killed more than 4,700 people.
(a) Nigeria    (b) Kenya
(c) Liberia    (d) Mozambique

28. On May 09, ______ successfully test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).
(a) Russia    (b) India
(c) South Korea    (d) North Korea

29. On May 13, ______ officially recognised the state of Palestine.
(a) Germany    (b) The Vatican
(c) Sweden    (d) England

30. On May 15, the Prime Minister of ______, Xavier Bettel, became the first European Union leader to enter into a same-sex marriage.
(a) Estonia    (b) Luxembourg
(c) Latvia    (d) Armenia

Sports
1. On Apr 18, James Anderson became ______ leading wicket-taker in Test history.
(a) Australia’s    (b) S. Africa’s
(c) England’s    (d) Zimbabwe’s

2. The current Test captain of the West Indian cricket team is ______.
(a) Chris Gayle
(b) Denesh Ramdin
(c) Darren Sammy
(d) Jason Holder

3. On Apr 22, ______ whitewashed Pakistan in a One-day International series for the first time.
(a) Afghanistan    (b) Bangladesh
(c) Zimbabwe    (d) Kenya

4. On Apr 30, Pakistan’s top cueist ______ won the 31st Asian Snooker Championship held at Kuala Lumpur.
(a) Hamza Akbar    (b) M. Asif
(c) M. Zeeshan    (d) M. Yousuf

5. On May 03, ______ clinched their first Premier League title in five years.
(a) Chelsea    (b) Real Madrid
(c) Man United    (d) Man City

6. Floyd Mayweather recorded an emphatic win over his ______ rival Manny Pacquiao.
(a) Danish    (b) Dutch
(c) Filipino    (d) Swede

7. On May 11, Pakistan’s Mohammad Afzal won a gold medal in the triple jump event at the inaugural Asian Youth Athletics Championship held in ______.
(a) Bangkok    (b) Doha
(c) Hong Kong    (d) Kuala Lumpur

Obituaries
1. On Apr 21, an ______ poet Abdel Rahman El Abnoudy, who channelled folklore and rural life into verses that touched the Arab world, died.
(a) Egyptian    (b) Iranian
(c) Indonesian    (d) Iraqi

2. Imtiaz Aalam Hanfi, a former governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), died on ______.
(a) Apr 22     (b) Apr 24
(c) Apr 26    (d) Apr 28

3. On ______, M. H. Abrams who is credited with editing the first seven editions of  “The Norton Anthology of English Literature,” died.
(a) Apr 26    (b) Apr 28
(c) Apr 29    (d) Apr 30

4. Nawabzada Talal Akbar Bugti, who died on Apr 27, was the chief of ______.
(a) Baloch Liberation Army
(b) Baloch Liberation Front
(c) Jamhoori Watan Party
(d) Jamhoori Ittehad

5. On May 03, a renowned scholar, writer, researcher and nationalist leader ______ passed away.
(a) Rasool Palejo
(b) Abdul Wahid Arisar
(c) Kabir Ali Magsi
(d) Nasrullah Chandio
6. Former ______ president, who was convicted in 2014 for his key role in the country’s bloody 1980 coup, died on May 10.
(a) Turkish    (b) Bangladeshi
(c) Syrian    (d) Gambian

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