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World in Focus (November – December 2016)

World in Focus

NATIONAL

Nov 17: Pakistan conducted Raad ul Barq (Strike of Thunder) military exercise in Khairpur Tamewali.

Nov 20: The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) 2016, published by US-based Institute for Economics and Peace, reported that Pakistan recorded a substantial decrease in terrorist activities, with 45% fewer attacks and 38% fewer deaths.

Highlights

  1. Pakistan has seen reduction in terrorist activities for the second consecutive year.
  2. Pakistan had seen third largest decline in deaths.
  3. Terrorism in Pakistan is now at its lowest level since 2006.
  4. The reduction in deaths from terrorism has been caused by Operation Zarb-e-Azb.
  5. 76 countries improved their GTI scores whereas in 53 countries it worsened.
  6. Top five countries on the GTI are: Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria.

Nov 21: Celebrated mountaineer, Hassan Asad, also known as Hassan Sadpara, passed away. He was 53.

About Hassan Sadpara

  1. Hassan Sadpara was the first Pakistani mountaineer to have climbed the six highest mountains including Everest, K-2, Gashurbum-I, Gashurbum-II, Nanga Parbat and Broad Peak.
  2. He was born in 1963 in a small village Sadpara, near Skardu.
  3. He started his career in 1993 as a high altitude porter.
  4. In 1999, he climbed the 8,125-meter-high Nanga Parbat and in 2004, he made a record by scaling the K-2 in just four days.
  5. He also climbed the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest, in four days, from base to summit.
  6. He climbed all the high peaks without the use of oxygen.

Nov 21: Farhan Mehboob won the Serena Hotel Chief of Air Staff International Squash Championship.

Nov 21: Pakistan was ranked 48th in EF’s English Proficiency Index (EPI); the world’s largest ranking of countries according to their level of English.

Nov 21: The UN adopted a Pakistan-sponsored resolution on the right to self-determination for people living under foreign occupation.

Nov 22: The Benazir Income Support Programme signed an MoU with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) to promote social and economic protection for BISP beneficiaries.

Nov 22: Former caretaker Prime Minister Moeen Qureshi passed away at the age of 86.

About Moeen Qureshi

  1. He was born on June 26, 1930, in Lahore to a prominent religious family from Kasur.
  2. He graduated from GCU Lahore and earned his master’s degree from Punjab University.
  3. He went on to pursue a PhD in Economics from Indiana University, on a Fulbright scholarship.
  4. He joined the Civil Service of Pakistan in 1955 and served in the Planning Commission for about a year only.
  5. In 1956, he went to the United States to join the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
  6. He served as caretaker prime minister of Pakistan from 18 July to 19 October 1993.

Nov 22: The ninth International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS) opened at Karachi’s Expo Centre.

Nov 22: The Sindh High Court (SHC) declared illegal the appointment of Murtaza Wahab as adviser to CM Sindh.

Nov 23: An antiterrorism court awarded death penalty to five convicts for their involvement in the lynching of a Christian couple in Kot Radha Kishan in 2014.

Nov 23: The federal government approved a staggering increase of up to 146% in the salary of members of parliament.

Details

  1. The salary of MNAs and that of Senators has been raised from Rs. 60,996 to Rs 150,000—a rise of 145.9 percent.
  2. With a 26 percent raise, the salaries of the National Assembly Speaker and the Senate Chairman have been increased from Rs. 162,659 to Rs. 205,000.
  3. With a 23 percent raise, the salary of the NA’s Deputy Speaker and that of Deputy Chairman Senate has been increased from Rs. 150,454 to Rs. 185,000.
  4. The salary of federal ministers has been raised from Rs. 126,387 to Rs. 200,000 (58 percent)
  5. The salary of a minister of state has been increased from Rs. 116,909 to Rs. 180,000 (54 percent).

Nov 23: Pemra auctioned Pakistan’s first three DTH licenses.

What is DTH & How It Works?

  1. DTH (Direct-to-Home) is a digital box that provides channels to customers without any cable connection.
  2. A dish is placed outside a home which helps in receiving the signals and broadcasting the transmission onto a TV.
  3. The digital signals provide optimum quality in all features.
  4. Features like 1080i resolution, 16:9 Wide Aspect Ratio, 5 Times Digital Picture Quality and HDD Sound add to the incredible experience of television viewing.
  5. With DTH, a user can scan nearly 700 channels. However, the number of channels will be decided by PEMRA.

Nov 24: The Sindh Assembly unanimously passed into law the Criminal Law (Protection of Minorities) Bill, 2015, making forced religious conversion a punishable criminal act.

Nov 24: Internationally-recognised scientist and Professor Emeritus at Punjab University Department of Zoology Dr Muzzafar Ahmed passed away. He was 97.

Nov 25: Former Olympian Mohammad Akhlaq breathed his last.

Nov 26: The Senate of Pakistan passed a bill to amend various laws with the objective of strengthening the criminal justice system and enhancing punishments for various offences to effectively curb terrorism and extremism.

World in FocusNov 26: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appointed Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and Gen Zubair Mahmood Hayat as the Chief of Army Staff and the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), respectively.

Nov 26: Chief Justice LHC Syed Mansoor Ali Shah administered oath to 14 newly-appointed additional judges.

Names of Judges

  1. Justice Mujahid Mustaqim Ahmad
  2. Justice Tariq Iftikhar Ahmad
  3. Justice Abdul Sattar
  4. Justice Habibullah Amir
  5. Justice Muhammad Bashir Paracha
  6. Justice Asjad Javaid Ghural
  7. Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh
  8. Justice Jawwad Hasan
  9. Justice Ahmad Raza Gillani
  10. Justice Muzammil Akhtar Shabbir
  11. Justice Mudassir Khalid Abbasi
  12. Justice Abdul Rehman Aurangzeb
  13. Justice Muhammad Ali
  14. Justice Chaudhry Abdul Aziz

With the fresh elevation, the number of judges at the LHC reached 60, the constitutional sanctioned strength.

Nov 27: Pakistan’s Mohammad Waseem, also known as ‘Falcon Khan’ for his swift boxing style, successfully defended his World Boxing Council (WBC) silver flyweight title.

Nov 27: Former GM of PTV Karachi centre and author Burhanuddin Hasan passed away. He was 86.

Nov 28: KP government announced its first-ever youth policy whereby a youth commission will be established to empower the youth in the real sense to plan and devise strategy for their bright future and career progression.

Nov 28: Newly-inducted 12 ministers were assigned portfolios and the departments of nine old ministers were shuffled by CM Punjab.

Nov 29: Newly appointed Chief of Army Staff, Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, took over the command of Pakistan Army. Gen Bajwa is the country’s 16th COAS.

Nov 29: Abdullah Abbasi of Pakistan clinched the first title of the Causeway Scrabble Challenge by winning the youth event at Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

Nov 29: New Zealand defeated Pakistan in the second Test by 130 runs to sweep the series 2-0.

Nov 30: The Pakistan Commissions of Inquiry Bill 2016 was passed by the National Assembly.

Nov 30: The National Assembly, through an amendment to the income tax law, approved an amnesty scheme for the realty sector.

Nov 30: World Economic Forum (WEF) issued the 2016 Global Enabling Trade Report. The report places Pakistan at 122nd position among 136 countries.

Nov 30: Taxi-hailing service Careem introduced women drivers in Pakistan.

Dec 01: The LHC struck down the process initiated by Punjab government for the appointment of VCs at four public sector universities. These universities are: Punjab University, Lahore College for Women University, University of Sargodha and Multan’s Nawaz Sharif University of Engineering &Technology.

Dec 02: The EU announced to provide 45 million euros to support ongoing reforms in the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) sector in Pakistan.

Dec 03: Abdul Rehman, alias Bhola, a key suspect behind 2012 factory inferno in Karachi that killed over 250 people was arrested in Bangkok, Thailand.

Dec 02: The first Pakistan Film Festival was held at the UN.

Dec 04: Prominent businessman Javed Khanani, a director of the forex firm Khanani and Kalia International, died.

Dec 03: Pakistan’s Waqas Tariq grabbed a silver medal at the World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championship held in Pattaya, Thailand.

Dec 04: The Sindh Culture Day was celebrated to highlight the centuries-old rich culture of Sindh.

Dec 05: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif gave approval to rename the National Centre for Physics at Quaid-i-Azam University as the ‘Professor Abdus Salam Centre for Physics’.

Dec 05: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra inaugurated the newly established Fata University at Darra Adamkhel in the FR Kohat.

Dec 07: Pakistan became a member of 70-member bloc Open Government Partnership (OGP).

Dec 07: The President appointed Justice Mian Saqib Nisar as the 25th Chief Justice of Pakistan w.e.f. Dec 31, 2016.

About Justice Saqib Nisar

  1. Justice Saqib Nisar was born in Lahore on Jan 18, 1954.
  2. He did matriculation from the Cathedral High School, Lhr.
  3. He graduated from the GCU Lahore, and did LLB from the University of the Punjab in 1979-80.
  4. He joined legal profession as an advocate on May 2, 1980.
  5. He was enrolled as an advocate of the high court in 1982 and advocate of the Supreme Court in 1994.
  6. He was made a judge of the high court on May 22, 1998, and of the Supreme Court on Feb 18, 2010.
  7. He specialises in civil, commercial, tax and constitutional laws.
  8. He was appointed as the federal law secretary on March 29, 1997, when he became the first member of the bar to be appointed to the important position.

Dec 07: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s 29-year-old Rafia Qaseem Baig became the first Pakistani as well as the first Asian woman to become a member of the Bomb Disposal Unit (BDU).

Dec 07: An ATR of Pakistan International Airline (PIA) crashed near Havelian, claiming lives of all 48 persons on board.

The dead included singer-turned-televangelist Junaid Jamshed and his wife, Chitral’s deputy commissioner Osama Ahmed Warraich, his wife and infant daughter and three foreigners.

Dec 09: Both chambers of the US Congress passed the 2017 National Defence Authorisation Act, which includes $1.1 billion for reimbursing the nations supporting US military operations in Afghanistan.

  1. The largest chunk from this amount, $900 million, is available for reimbursement to Pakistan but almost half of it, $400m, has been put out of its reach.
  2. To get those $400m, Pakistan will have to get a ‘good conduct’ certificate from the US defence secretary.

Dec 09: Seven major generals of Pakistan Army were promoted to the rank of lieutenant general. The officers promoted include: Lt Gen Nadeem Raza, Lt Gen Humayun Aziz, Lt Gen Naeem Ashraf, Lt Gen Muhammad Afzal, Lt Gen Sher Afgun, Lt Gen Qazi Ikram and Lt Gen Bilal Akbar.

Dec 09: Pakistan’s biggest port “Pakistan Deep Water Container Port (PDWCP), located at Keamari groyne east of Karachi Port, started test operations.

Dec 10: The federal government appointed renowned poet and scholar Iftikhar Arif as Director General of the National Language Promotion Department.

Dec 11: Pakistan won the silver medal in the First Asian Men’s Netball Championship 2016 after losing the final to Malaysia.

Dec 11: Pakistan Army announced the appointments of Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar as the new ISI chief and Lt Gen Bilal Akbar as Chief of General Staff (CGS).

Dec 11: Pakistan Navy assembled ‘Task Force-88’ (TF-88) for the seaward security of Gwadar port and protection of associated sea lanes against both conventional and non-traditional threats. The TF-88 would comprise ships, Fast Attack Craft, aircraft, drones (unmanned aerial vehicles), and surveillance assets.

Dec 13: The first Pakistan-Russia Consultation on Regional Issues was held in Islamabad.

Dec 14: Pakistan successfully tested an improved version of the medium-range and subsonic Babur cruise missile.

Dec 14: Maj Gen Muhammad Saeed was posted as DG Rangers Sindh and Major Gen Nadeem Anjum as IG FC in Balochistan.

Dec 15: The Senate of Pakistan passed the ‘Panamagate Bill’ with slight amendments. The bill was passed with 37 votes in favour and 15 against.

Dec 15: Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor was appointed as the new Director General of the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR).


Top 15 Facts about Dr Abdus Salam

  1. dr abdus salamAbdus Salam was born in Jhang, a small town in Punjab province, on January 29, 1926.
  2. He gained the highest marks ever recorded for the Matriculation Examination at the University of the Punjab.
  3. He won a scholarship to Government College, University of the Punjab, and took his MA in 1946.
  4. In the same year he was awarded a scholarship to St. John’s College, Cambridge, where he took a BA (honours) with a double first in mathematics and physics in 1949.
  5. In 1950, he received the Smith’s Prize from Cambridge University for the most outstanding pre-doctoral contribution to physics.
  6. He also obtained a PhD in theoretical physics at Cambridge; his thesis, published in 1951, contained fundamental work in quantum electrodynamics which had already gained him an international reputation.
  7. Salam returned to Pakistan in 1951 to teach mathematics at Government College, Lahore, and in 1952, he became the head of the Mathematics Department of the Punjab University.
  8. In 1954, Salam left for a lectureship at Cambridge, and later visited Pakistan as adviser on science policy.
  9. He was a member of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, a member of the Scientific Commission of Pakistan and was Chief Scientific Adviser to the President from 1961 to 1974.
  10. Since 1957 he has been Professor of Theoretical Physics at Imperial College, London, and since 1964 has combined this position with that of Director of the ICTP, Trieste.
  11. For more than forty years he remained a prolific researcher in theoretical elementary particle physics. He has either pioneered or been associated with all the important developments in this field, maintaining a constant and fertile flow of brilliant ideas.
  12. He served on a number of United Nations committees concerned with the advancement of science and technology in developing countries.
  13. He was the first Pakistani and first Muslim to receive a Nobel Prize in science and the second from an Islamic country to receive any Nobel Prize (after Anwar Sadat of Egypt).
  14. Salam and Steven Weinberg, with whom he shared the prize, independently predicted the existence of a subatomic particle now called the Higgs boson, or God Particle. It is known as the “God particle” because its existence is vitally important towards the understanding the early evolution of the universe.
  15. He died on 21 November 1996 in Oxford, United Kingdom.

Key recommendations in QUETTA INQUIRY COMMISSION REPORT

  1. quetta inquiry commission reportThe National Action Plan should be made into a proper plan, with clear goals, a comprehensive monitoring mechanism, and periodic reviewing.
  2. Nacta (National Counter Terrorism Authority) must be activated. It must do what the Nacta Act mandates.
  3. The public space needs to be reclaimed to counteract the virulent propaganda of the terrorists. The laws and Constitution need to be reestablished and the state must re-exert itself.
  4. The Anti-Terrorism Act needs to be enforced, and terrorists/terrorist organisations must be proscribed without delay.
  5. The federal and Balochistan governments must develop and maintain a databank with information or perpetrators/suspects of heinous crimes and terrorists organisations.
  6. Forensic laboratories should be not under the jurisdiction of the police, but of scientists. The results/tests should be uploaded in a central databank and easily accessed from any province.
  7. All crime scenes should be professionally secured, forensically examined and extensively photographed as soon as possible.
  8. Protocols or standard operating procedures should be developed with the help of experts.
  9. The shortcomings of the hospital, government of Balochistan and police need to be addressed and removed.
  10. All educational institutions, including madaris, need to be registered.
  11. Entry into and departure from Pakistan needs to be properly monitored; all persons must have the requisite documentation.
  12. The customs authorities should ensure that contraband is not brought into the country.
  13. If the media broadcasts and propagates the views of terrorists, then those doing so must be prosecuted in accordance with the law.
  14. The amount of compensation for the legal heirs of the deceased and for the injured should be expeditiously distributed.

 INTERNATIONAL

Nov 16-18: The 2016 World Internet Conference was held in China

Nov 17: “Post-truth” was declared the Word of the Year for 2016 by Oxford Dictionaries.

Nov 17: Doctors from Netherlands performed the first-ever brain implant, on a 58-year-old woman paralysed by Lou Gehrig’s disease (also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-ALS).

Doctors directly installed a device called electrocorticograph (ECoG) on the women’s brain.

Nov 17: China’s ‘Sunway Taihulight’ won the fastest supercomputer title.

About the Supercomputer

  1. Sunway TaihuLight is built entirely using processors designed and made in China.
  2. It was developed by the China’s National Research Centre of Parallel Computer Engineering and Technology (NRCPC).
  3. It can perform 93 quadrillions calculations per second (petaflop/s) almost three times as fast as Tianhe-2.
  4. In June 2016, TaihuLight had dethroned the former fastest supercomputer Tianhe-2, also a Chinese system but built based on Intel chips.
  5. TaihuLight is intended for use in research and engineering including climate, weather, life sciences, advanced manufacturing and data analytics.

Nov 17: Russia officially withdrew from International Criminal Court (ICC).

Nov 17: The extraordinary OIC Council of Ministers session in Mecca where the appointment of Dr Yusuf Ahmad Al-Othaimeen as new Secretary General of the OIC was approved.

Nov 19: The COP22 to the UNFCC, 12th session of COP of Parties to Kyoto Protocol (CMP 12), and first session of COP of Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 1) were held in Marrakech, Morocco.

Nov 19: An original drawing from “Explorers on the Moon”, widely regarded as one of the two best Tintin adventures, sold for a record 1.55 million euros at a Paris auction.

The drawing is in Chinese ink and has been made by the Belgian cartoonist Herge.

19-20 Nov: The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit was held in Lima, Peru.

Nov 20: Briton Craig Reedie was re-elected president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) for a second mandate of three years.

About WADA

  1. The First World Conference on Doping in Sport held, in Lausanne, Switzerland, on February 2-4, 1999, produced the Lausanne Declaration on Doping in Sport which provided for the creation of an independent international anti-doping agency.
  2. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was established on November 10, 1999, in Lausanne.
  3. The Agency consists of equal representatives from the Olympic Movement and public authorities.
  4. Its key activities include scientific research, education, development of anti-doping capacities, and monitoring of the World Anti Doping Code (Code).

Motto: Play True

Headquarters: Montreal, Canada
Official languages: English, French
Incumbent President: Craig Reedie

World in FocusNov 20: A train derailed in Indian’s northern state of Uttar Pradesh killing at least 146 passengers.

Nov 21: Pope Francis allowed all priests permanently the right to forgive abortion.
Nov 21: China launched world’s longest super-secure quantum communication line connecting Hefei, capital of Anhui province to Shanghai.

Key Facts

  1. The 712-km line is part of a 2,000-km Beijing-Shanghai quantum communication.
  2. It has 11 stations and it took three years of construction.
  3. In one of its first test communication, it had transmitted a secure video conference between the two cities.

Nov 21: India test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi-II missile twice in quick succession.

Nov 22: A report by the UN’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU) said that 3.9 billion people—more than half the world’s population—do not have home or mobile internet access.

Nov 22: The 751-member European Parliament endorsed an EU plan to deepen coordination of member states’ defence policies and rely less on the United States.

Nov 23: Japan and South Korea signed an agreement to share defence intelligence about North Korea, despite protests from opposition parties and activists in Seoul and strong criticism from China.

Nov 25: Cuba’s historic revolutionary leader Fidel Castro died aged 90.

Nov 25: Colombian Government signed revised peace agreement with the country’s largest rebel movement, Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Key Facts

  1. Within 90 days of approval of revised agreement, FARC rebels will lay down their arms.
  2. Within five months they are required to completely surrender all weapons to the UN.
  3. Under the new deal, rebels will have to declare their assets.
  4. The money will be used for reparation payments to victims of the conflict.
  5. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October 2016 for his efforts to end the war.

Nov 25: Vano Mikoyan, one of the developers of the MiG fighter jets for the Soviet and then Russian air force, died at the age of 89.

About Mikoyan

  1. Mikoyan is best-known for engineering the MiG-29 jet fighter, a warplane that entered service in the 1980s as the Soviet counterpart to the U.S. F-15 and F-16 fighters.
  2. Known as Fulcrum in the West, the MiG-29 is still used by the Russian air force and has been exported to several other countries.
  3. Mikoyan, who was born in 1927, was the son of Anastas Mikoyan, a comrade of the early Bolshevik leaders who later served as a Soviet statesman and key ally of Communist Party leader Nikita Khrushchev.
  4. Mikoyan started his career in 1953 at the state-run MiG company, which was co-founded by his uncle Artyom as the Mikoyan and Gurevich (MiG) Design Bureau.
  5. He went on to become its chief jet designer.
  6. The Soviet Union and Russia have produced more than 1,600 planes of the MiG-29 family.
  7. Mikoyan was given two Soviet state awards for developing the iconic jet fighters.

Nov 27: An overwhelming majority of people in of Switzerland’s 26 cantons voted against a call to speed up the phase-out Switzerland’s ageing nuclear reactors.

Nov 28: India appointed Lt Gen AK Bhatt as new Director General of Military Operations (DGMO). He has replaced Lt Gen Ranbir Singh.

Nov 27: Lewis Hamilton won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Nov 27: Nico Rosberg of Mercedes won the 2016 world drivers’ championship.

Nov 29: A LAMIA airlines charter plane carrying a Brazilian football team crashed in the mountains in Colombia, killing an estimated 75 people while six survived, including several players of Chapecoense Real, a Brazilian football club.

Nov 29: Dutch MPs voted overwhelmingly to ban the Islamic full-face burqa from some public places such as schools and hospitals, the latest such move in a European country.

Nov 30: Indian Supreme Court ruled that all cinemas to play the national anthem before screening movies and audiences should stand for it.

World in FocusNov 30: Indian Supreme Court ruled that all cinemas must play the national anthem before screening movies and audiences should stand for it.

Dec 01: India signed a $750 million agreement with the US to buy 145 howitzer artillery guns from BAE Systems.

Dec 01: The US Senate passed a 10-year extension of sanctions against Iran.

Dec 01: Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn was proclaimed king of Thailand.

Dec 02: Twitter Inc appointed Keith Coleman, founder of startup Yes Inc, as head of its product team.

Dec 02: UAE midfielder Omar Abdulrahman was crowned AFC player of the year.

Dec 02: Sprint king from Jamaica Usain Bolt won an unprecedented sixth IAAF male Athlete of the Year award. Ethiopia’s AlmazAyana picked up the female award after her record-setting 10,000m gold in Rio.

Dec 02: Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen of Norway won the 2016 World Chess Championship for the third consecutive time.

Dec 03: Indian environmental activist Kehkashan Basu won 2016 International Children’s Peace Prize.

Dec 03: France and the UAE launched a $100 million fund to protect heritage sites threatened by extremism and conflict.

Dec 04: The Heart of Asia conference, a moot of major regional and global powers, opened in Amritsar, India.

About Heart of Asia

  1. HoA conference is a part of the Istanbul Process, established in 2011, which provides a platform to discuss an agenda of regional cooperation with Afghanistan at its centre.
  2. It seeks to provide a platform to discuss regional issues, particularly encouraging security, political, and economic cooperation among Afghanistan and its neighbours.
  3. Its three main elements are:
    1. Political Consultation involving Afghanistan and its near and extended neighbours.
    2. Achieving sustained incremental approach to implementation of Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) identified in the Istanbul Process document.
    3. Seeks to contribute and bring greater coherence to work of various regional processes and organisations, particularly as they relate to Afghanistan.

Participating countries: Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Azerbaijan and Turkey.

Supporting countries: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Iraq, Japan, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, UK and US.

Supporting Organisations: UN, NATO, SAARC, SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) and OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation).

Dec 05: Jayalalithaa Jayaram, the chief minister of southern India’s Tamil Nadu state and one of the country’s most popular political leaders, died.

Dec 05: New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announced his shock resignation.

Dec 05: Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo.

Dec 05: Uzbekistan’s interim leader Shavkat Mirziyoyev became the country’s second-ever president following the death of long-reigning strongman Islam Karimov.

Dec 06: French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve was appointed as the new Prime Minister after Manuel Valls resigned.

Dec 06: Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar was appointed as the next Chief Justice of India. He succeeded Justice TS Thakur to become 44th CJI.

Dec 07: Time magazine named US President-elect Donald Trump its person of the year.

Dec 07: Gutgoing US President Barack Obama admitted that the United States cannot eliminate the Taliban or end violence in Afghanistan but it has built a counterterrorism capability to deal with any terrorist network in South Asia.

Dec 09: South Korean lawmakers voted to impeach President Park Geun-Hye, stripping away her sweeping executive powers over a corruption scandal.

Dec 11: Regular rail service through the world’s longest tunnel—Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT)—  began.

Dec 13: The United Nations ended a campaign featuring Wonder Woman as an ambassador for women and girls.

Dec 13: Former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres (67) was sworn in as the 9th Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Dec 14: According to the 2016 IHS Jane’s Defence Budgets report, India emerged as the world’s fourth largest defence spender.


2016 Review

NATIONAL

02 Jan: Aleem Dar became first Asian to officiate in 100 Tests.

11 Jan:    Three stock exchanges merged into Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX).

12 Jan:    YouTube was launched with Pakistan Trademark.

19 Jan:    Ra’ad missile with a range of 350km was test-launched.

20 Jan:    Gunmen turned Charsadda varsity into killing field.

10 Feb:    Pakistan, Qatar signed $16 billion LNG deal.

13 Feb:    Pakistan-born scientist Dr Nagris Mavalvala was among the team who observed ripples in the fabric of time called gravitational waves.

29 Feb: Punjab governor Salman Taseer’s killed Mumtaz Qadri was executed.

29 Feb: Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s ‘A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness’ won the Academy Award.

21 Mar: Pakistan ratified the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM).

24 Mar: Forces nabbed Indian spy Kulbhushan Yadav in Balochistan.

11 Apr: PIA turned into public limited company.

22 Apr: Pakistan signed Paris climate agreement.

28 Apr: Swat women’s rights activist Tabassum Adnan won Nelson Mandela award.

18 May: Jirga settled KP-GB boundary dispute.

21 June: British court accepted Pakistan’s claim over Nizam of Hyderabad’s funds.

08 July: Iconic social worker Abdul Sattar Edhi passed away.

World in Focus11 Aug: Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill (PECB) became law.

16 Aug:    Pakistan won the 2016 World Team Junior Squash Championship.

22 Aug:    Pakistan became the world’s No.1 Test side for the first time since the International Cricket Council introduced the ranking system in 2003.

23 Aug:    MQM “broke off” from Altaf Hussain.

15 Sep:    Pakistan officially became signatory to Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters aimed at curbing growing tax evasion.

18 Sep:    Pakistani-born boy, Humza Shahzad, set a new record by becoming the world’s youngest qualified computer programmer at the age of seven.

26 Sep:    The National Assembly passed Hindu Marriage Bill, 2016.

Oct 20:     TIME magazine named two Pakistanis—Sumail Hassan and Malala Yousafzai—in its annual list of the 30 Most Influential Teens.

Oct 24:     Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of the IMF, came on her first visit to Pakistan.

Oct 24:     The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) issued a 10-rupee coin

Oct 27:     The Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company (PMIC) was launched.

Oct 28:     The tehsils of Duki and Surab in Balochistan were upgraded to the level of districts.

Oct 29:     Senator Pervaiz Rashid was relieved of his responsibilities as the federal minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage.

Oct 30:     India beat Pakistan to reclaim the Asian Champions Trophy hockey.

Oct 31:     Maryam Aurangzeb was appointed as Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting.

Oct 31:     First trade activities under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project (CPEC) began as over a hundred Chinese containers arrived at the Sust port in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Nov 03:  Pakistani singer Khyal Muhammad was awarded Afghanistan’s prestigious presidential award Afghan Mir Bacha Khan Milli medal.

Nov 04:  Pakistan ratified the Conference of the Parties COP-21 (Paris global climate change agreement).

Nov 06: Nighat Dad, the founder and CEO of Digital Rights Foundation, was awarded the 2016 Human Rights Tulip Award.

Nov 11: Famous playback singer Arthur Nayyar, popularly known as A Nayyar, passed away.

Nov 11: Former chief justice Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui was sworn in as the new governor of Sindh.

Nov 13: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the operational activities of the revamped strategic Gwadar port in Balochistan.

Nov 13: PPP’s senior leader Jehangir Badr died. He was 72.

Nov 15: The Supermoon was observed in Pakistan after the moon was closest to the Earth at 356,509 km.

INTERNATIONAL

02 Jan: Gunmen mounted attack on Indian air base in Pathankot; First Vatican-Palestine accord came into effect.

05 Jan: Mumbai boy Pranvaz Dhanawade’s 1,009 run innings smashed 117-year-old record.

06 Jan: North Korea claimed conducting H. bomb test.

16 Jan: Taiwan elected Tsai Insg-wen the as country first woman president; China launched new AIIB development bank.

19 Jan: First flower, a bright orange zinnia, blossomed on International Space Station.

11 Feb: Gravitational waves were detected in scientific milestone which Albert Einstein predicted long ago.

06 May: Sadiq Khan became first Muslim mayor of London.

25 May: Haibatullah Akhundzada was appointed as new Afghan Taliban chief.

01 June: Switzerland opened world’s longest and deepest rail tunnel (Gotthard Base Tunnel). It is 57-kilometer long.

03 June: Former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali died.

24 June: Britain voted to leave the European Union.

27 June: Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan apologized to Russian President Putin over downed jet.

29 June: Rodrigo Duterte was sworn in as the Philippine 16th president.

01 July: UN General Assembly adopted resolution on the UN Global counter-terrorism strategy.

03 July: China completed world’s biggest radio telescope. The 500-metre Aperture Spherical Telescope, or FAST, is the size of 300 soccer fields and has been cut out of a mountain in Guizhou.

12 July: An international tribunal ruled against China’s claims it had “historical rights” in the South China Sea.

13 July: Theresa May became Britain’s new prime minister.

16 July: Peoples power helped Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan foil military coup.

3 Aug: Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and Tajikistan set up a new Quadrilateral Cooperation and Coordination Mechanism (QCCM) to fight Terrorism

4 Aug: World’s tallest moving observation tower i360 opened to the public. It is 162-metre-high tower and is ringed by a doughnut-shaped glass observation that gently glides up and down.

20 Aug: World’s highest and longest glass-bottomed bridge opened in Hunan province of China. The bridge is 430-metre long and is suspended 300-metre above the earth.

23 Aug: Hijab made part of Scotland police uniforms.

30 Aug: India and the US signed deal to share military assets and bases.

31 Aug: Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff was ousted from office by Senate; First regular commercial flight in more than 50 years from United States landed in Cuba.

02 Sept: Uzbekistan strongman President Islam Karimov died.

09 Sept: North Korea conducted fifth nuclear test.

13 Sept: United Kingdom issued first plastic banknotes of five, pound denomination for England and Wales.

25 Sept: Colombia’s leftist FARC force signed a historic peace accord with government and apologized to the countless victims of the country’s half-century civil war.

26 Sept: World’s largest radio telescope FAST began operation in China.

29 Sept: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Gulbadin Hekmatyar signed peace deal.

01 Oct: China’s yuan joined the International Monetary Fund’s basket of reserve currencies.

02 Oct: Colombians shocked government of reject in thepeace deal.

10 Oct: Estonia’s youngest and first woman president Kersti Kaljulaid was sworn in.

13 Oct: Portugal’s Antonio Guterres was appointed next UN chief; The Maldives quit Commonwealth over human rights row.

1st Nov: OIC Chief Iyad Ami Madani resigned.

Oct 20: An Indian court in Gujarat upheld appeals by 14 Hindus convicted over the massacre of 33 Muslims in 2002 Gujarat riots.

Oct 21: South Africa announced to pull out of the international criminal court ICC.

Oct 22: Junko Tabei, the first woman to climb Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, died at age 77.

Oct 22: Zabivaka the wolf, was named as the official mascot of the 2018 Football World Cup to be held in Moscow.

Oct 26: Paul Beatty became the first US author to win the Man Booker Prize.

Oct 27: China’s Communist Party elevated President Xi Jinping to “core” leader.

Oct 28: Antarctica’s Ross Sea was declared world’s largest Marine Protected Area (MPA) to protect the Earth’s most pristine marine ecosystem.

Oct 31: The secretary-general of the OIC, Iyad bin Amin Madani, resigned.

Oct 31: Lebanon’s parliament elected Michel Aoun as the country’s 13th president.

Nov 03: Saad Hariri, the leader of the Lebanese Future Movement, was named as new Lebanese prime minister.

Nov 03: The London High Court ruled that Parliament must give its approval before the Brexit process can begin.

Nov 01-03: The 6th Session of the Ministerial Conference on the Role of Women in the Development of OIC Member States was held at Istanbul from 1-3 November 2016.

Nov 07: Guy Ryder of the United Kingdom was re-elected as Director-General of International Labour Organization (ILO) for a second five-year term to start on 1 October 2017.

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