World in Focus ( MAR-APR 2021) National & International
March 16: National Highway Authority (NHA) and Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) signed an agreement under which NHA’s entire network will be monitored by using satellite technology.
March 17: The first shipment of privately-imported Russian vaccine, Gam-Covid-Vac or Sputnik-V, comprising 50,000 doses arrived in Karachi.
March 17: Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated the two-day Islamabad Security Dialogue, and also launched the National Security Division’s Advisory Portal, connecting over 100 think-tanks with policymakers.
March 17: CM Punjab Usman Buzdar gave approval to the establishment of Punjab Sahulat Bazaar Authority by disbanding Punjab Model Bazar Management Company.
March 17: China gifted another 500,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Pakistan.
March 17: The European Union (EU) signed an agreement to support Pakistan’s civil society by co-financing three projects, for a total amount of 7,237,500 Euro to alleviate the socioeconomic impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.
March 18: The 1,100-megawatt Karachi Nuclear Power Plant Unit-2 (K-2) was connected to the national grid by Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission.
March 18: Addressing a moot titled ‘Islamabad Security Dialogue’, Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa offered an olive branch to India by saying that it was time to bury the past and move forward. “But for resumption of peace process or meaningful dialogue, our neighbour will have to create a conducive environment, particularly in the Indian Occupied Kashmir,” he said.
March 18: For the first time in the country’s financial history, the private-sector Pakistan Mortgage Refinance Company (PMRC) issued Rs3.1bn sukuk bonds for a period of three years at the rate of 8.25 percent.
March 19: Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmad Baber Sidhu took charge as the new chief of Pakistan Air Force (PAF).
About Air Marshal Sidhu
Born on April 16, 1965 Air Marshal Sidhu was commissioned in GD(P) Branch of Pakistan Air Force in April 1986. During his career, he has commanded a Fighter Squadron, a Flying Wing, an Operational Air Base and Regional Air Command.
In his staff appointments, he has served as Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (OR&D), Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Training-Officers) and Additional Secretary at the Ministry of Defence. He has also served as Director General Projects, Director General Air Force Strategic Command and Deputy Chief of Air Staff (Air Defence) at Air Headquarters, Islamabad. He is a graduate of Combat Commanders’ School, Air War College and Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS), UK.
In recognition of his outstanding services, he was awarded with Tamgha-i-Imtiaz (Military), Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Military) and Hilal-i-Imtiaz (Military).
March 19: Actor Momin Saqib was declared as a Commonwealth Youth Covid-19 Hero.
March 19: The federal cabinet gave emergency approval for withdrawing income tax exemptions worth Rs 140 billion.
March 20: An anti-terrorism court awarded death sentence to both accused – Abid Malhi and Shafqat alias Bagga – in Motorway gang-rape case.
March 20: The Ravi Urban Development Authority (Ruda) chairman, Rashid Aziz, resigned.
March 21: Pakistan Army team claimed gold medal in International Adventure Competition held in Nepal.
March 21: The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network released the World Happiness Report 2021 which has ranked Pakistan at 105 out of 149 countries in the list.
March 23: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote a letter to his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan to extend best wishes to Pakistan on the Pakistan Day.
March 23: Russian and American presidents congratulated President Arif Alvi on the 81st Pakistan Day.
March 23: Pakistan and India began their first talks under the Permanent Indus Commission in two and a half years in New Delhi to resolve the longstanding dispute over the hydroelectric projects India is building on the River Chenab.
March 24: The APNS General Council unanimously elected Sarmad Ali as President, Jamil Ather as Senior Vice President, Shahab Zuberi as Vice President, Ms Nazafreen Saigol Lakhani as Secretary General, Mohsin Bilal as Joint Secretary and Owais Khushnood as Finance Secretary of the society.
March 24: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) declared PPP leader Yusuf Raza Gilani’s plea, challenging Sadiq Sanjrani’s victory as chairman Senate, non-maintainable.
March 24: Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) and Palestinian universities joined hands to undertake initiatives for promotion of Arabic language in Pakistan.
March 24: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed to release the next tranche of $500 million for Pakistan.
March 25: Pakistan’s first television host, anchor and artist Kanwal Naseer passed away. She was 70.
March 25: The contingents of the three armed forces and other security forces conducted a march past and displayed their professionalism and military prowess at the Pakistan Day Military Parade held at the Parade Avenue, Islamabad.
March 25: The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) ordered restoration of the local government system in Punjab.
March 26: The government reopened the Saidu Sharif Airport in Swat for commercial flights as the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) resumed its operation after a hiatus of 17 years.
March 26: Pakistan conducted successful flight test of Shaheen-1A surface-to-surface ballistic missile having a range of 900 kilometres.
March 26: Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani notified former prime minister, Senator Yusuf Raza Gilani as the opposition leader in the Senate.
March 26: PMIK directed his Special Assistant (SAPM) on Petroleum Nadeem Babar to step down, and suspended secretary petroleum for 90 days.
March 26: Renowned playwright Haseena Moin, who was known for the strong portrayal of women in her serials much before the present feminist age began in Pakistan, passed away. She is known for writing classic serials like Shehzori, Tanhaiyaan, Ankahi, and Dhoop Kinaray. Most notably, she was the writing force behind Pakistan’s first original script, Kiran Kahani, in the early 1970s.
March 27: The federal government removed Higher Education Commission chairman Tariq Banuri from his post.
March 29: Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman telephoned PMIK.
March 29: PMIK removed Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh as Finance Minister, replacing him with Minister for Industries and Production, Muhammad Hammad Azhar.
March 29: Pakistan and Asian Development Bank (ADB) agreed to expand economic portfolio to increase cooperation in different areas.
March 30: Col (r) Mohammad Asif Zaman was appointed the new director general of the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) for a period of three years.
March 30: PMIK wrote a letter to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and asked him to create an ‘enabling environment’ in order to hold a ‘constructive and result-oriented dialogue’ between the two countries.
March 30: SAPM on Power Tabish Gauhar was given additional charge as prime minister’s aide on petroleum, replacing Nadeem Babar.
March 30: The government raised $2.5 billion in three dollar bonds of five, 10 and 30 years from the international market.
March 31: Pakistan tennis legend Khawaja Saeed Hai, one of the early sports icons of the country, passed away aged 91.
Apr. 01: The World Bank announced all-out financial and technical support to PMIK’s countrywide initiatives for environmental conservation and protection and enhanced disaster resilience, especially Green Stimulus one.
Apr. 01: The Broadsheet Commission, headed by Justice (retd) Azmat Saeed Sheikh, identified around a dozen officials/ persons for making apparently wrong payments of US$1.5 million to the wrong persons firms in 2008.
Role of lawyers Ahmer Bilal Soofi, a NAB representative in Pakistan, to discuss the deal with Broadsheet LLC (Isle of Man) and Ahmed Tariq Rahim, local counsel for the International Assets Recovery (IAR), LLC, were also discussed in the commission report.
Apr. 01: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) ordered lifting the ban on the social media application TikTok.
Apr. 01: The federal cabinet rejected resumption of trade with India as suggested by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), reiterating the government’s stated position that India should first revert to the August 5, 2019 position and move towards resolution of the Kashmir issue.
Apr. 02: Muhammad Faiz Kidwai became the first Pakistani to serve as Rotary International (RI) director.
Apr. 02: The SCP upheld an order of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for conducting repolling in the entire NA-75 Daska constituency.
Apr. 02: The UK government put Pakistan on the ‘red list’ of countries effective April 9.
Apr. 02: Gwadar, a crown jewel of CPEC, became the capital of southern Balochistan.
Apr. 03: PMIK approved the reconstitution of Economic Advisory Council (EAC) to recommend macro-economic stabilisation measures and carry forward the reform agenda for robust and sustained economic growth.
The EAC shall be chaired by the prime minister. The minister for finance and revenue shall be the vice chairman. In the absence of the prime minister, the finance minister may chair the meeting.
Apr. 03: In the first ODI against South Africa, Pakistan all-format captain Babar Azam broke the record for the fastest to reach 13 ODI tons in the 50-over format.
He broke former South African opener Hashim Amla’s record, who had achieved the feat in 83 innings, while Babar completed the feat in just 76 innings.
Apr. 03: Former hockey Olympian retired Col Zafar A. Zafri passed away.
Zafri was a member of the Pakistan squad that won gold medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics and silver medal at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. He performed as manager of the Pakistan team in the 1971 World Cup.
Apr. 03: The work for the construction of a convertor station of Central Asia-South Asia power project, commonly known as CASA1000, was formally launched at Azakhel Bala, Nowshera.
Did You Know?
Apr. 04: Italy announced to establish a gemstones training institute in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Apr. 04: Pakistan Blind Cricket team outclassed India to lift the Triangular Blind Cricket Series title.
Apr. 05: Indonesia announced 1,000 scholarships for Pakistani students.
Apr. 05: The SBP announced the third five-year strategic plan for Islamic banking industry, with the aim of expanding the share of Islamic banks’ assets and deposits to 30 percent in overall banking industry.
Apr. 06: UNDP’s Pakistan National Human Development Report 2020 was launched. The report highlights that Power, People, and Policy are the key drivers of inequality in Pakistan. Powerful groups use their privilege to capture more than their fair share; people discriminate against others based on characteristics such as gender and class; and policies are often unsuccessful at addressing the resulting inequality.
Apr. 06: The World Bank released Pakistan Development Update and said that the country’s Public and Publicly Guaranteed Debt (PPGD) to-GDP ratio is projected to peak at 94.4 percent of GDP by end-FY22 on account of elevated fiscal deficits, before easing to 94.1 percent of GDP by FY23.
Apr. 06: Russia’s foreign minister arrived in Pakistan for a two-day visit.
Apr. 06: The ECP released fresh data on the number of eligible voters in Pakistan according to which with an addition of over 2.4 million new registered voters, the overall number of eligible electorates in Pakistan has jumped to 118.224678 million.
Apr. 07: Pakistan won the series-deciding third and final ODI against South Africa, clinching the series.
Apr. 07: University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (UAF), scientists heralded a major breakthrough in camel production by achieving the first calf in camel through artificial insemination.
Apr. 08: Two-week long, multinational air exercise “ACES Meet 2021-1” concluded.
Apr. 08: While virtually addressing the 10th D8 summit, held in Dhaka, PMIK said harnessing technology, promoting innovation and investing in youth education, skills and training is an urgent imperative.
Apr. 09: Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, inaugurated Pakistan’s first Girls’ Cadet College in district Shaheed Benazirabad (Nawabshah), under the administration of Pakistan Air Force.
Apr. 09: The Pakistan Army promoted 37 brigadiers, including 12 from the Army Medical Corps, to the rank of major general.
Apr. 09: Veteran Pakistani classical singer Ustad Mubarak Ali Khan died at the age of 81.
Apr. 09: A US intelligence report warned that India and Pakistan may stumble into a large-scale war that neither side wants.
Apr. 09: The government appointed Asim Ahmad the new chairman FBR.
Apr. 10: Pakistan’s first liver autotransplant was performed successfully on a 28-year-old cancer patient at the Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) in Karachi.
Apr. 10: The PMLN candidate Nosheen Iftikhar won by-election in NA-75 Sialkot-IV (Daska).
Apr. 11: Mohammad Hafeez surpassed former captain Shoaib Malik as Pakistan’s leading run-scorer in T20I format.
Apr. 11: Pakistani blind student Khansa Maria, became the Pakistan’s Rhodes scholar-elect for 2021.
Apr. 12: Punjab governor Ch Muhammad Sarwar signed the Commercial Court Ordinance, 2021, into law.
Apr. 12: The government promoted Air Vice Marshal Hamid Rashid Randhawa, Inspector General Air Force at Air Headquarters, to the rank of Air Marshal.
Apr. 12: Forbes named UK-based Pakistani chef Zahra Khan in its 30 Under 30 Europe’s list in retail and eCommerce category.
Apr. 12: While making opening statement at the Special Segment of the ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development, PMIK called for disavowing power rivalries and geopolitical competition and said the world was at a critical point as the Covid pandemic has dramatically illustrated humanity’s oneness and interdependence.
Apr. 12: I.A. Rehman, an iconic Pakistani human rights defender and journalist, died at 90.
Apr. 12: The Council of Common Interests (CCI) approved the release of population cnsus results of 2017.
Apr. 12: The government decided to hold the next census in October this year by adopting the latest technology in order to avert the mistakes committed in the last census. The census results would be made available by 2023.
Apr. 12: Veteran journalist Zia Shahid passed away. at 78.
Apr. 13: Arshad Nadeem, Pakistan’s premier javelin thrower, set a new Pakistan record by throwing the javelin at a distance of 86.38 metres to claim the gold medal.
Apr. 13: The SCP dismissed a petition, filed by Justice Qazi Faez Isa, seeking live broadcast of his review petition proceedings.
Apr. 13: KP Governor Shah Farman administered oath to the four newly-inducted ministers into the provincial cabinet.
Those who took oath included Atif Khan, Fazal Shakoor Khan, Shakeel Ahmed Khan and Faisal Amin Gandapur.
Apr. 14: Legendary film director Syed Suleman, 86, died. He directed around 50 films between 1961 and 1998. He was also the younger brother of legendary actor Santosh Kumar.
Apr. 14: The Ministry of National Health Services, in collaboration with the WHO, declared the 1st of Ramazan as National Quit Day as part of the overall campaign for this year’s World No Tobacco Day, which is being observed worldwide under the theme ‘Commit to Quit.’
Apr. 14: COAS General Bajwa and US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken had a telephone conversation during which matters of mutual interest, regional security situation, including latest developments in Afghan Peace Process, and bilateral cooperation in various fields were discussed.
Apr. 14: Pakistan captain Babar Azam ended Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s long reign at the top of the ICC Men’s ODI Player Rankings, becoming only the fourth batsman from his country, after Zaheer Abbas (1983-84), Javed Miandad (1988-89) and Mohammad Yousuf (2003), to attain the coveted number one position.
Apr. 14: PMIK and Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev held wide-ranging talks and exchanged views on bilateral, regional and international issues.
Apr. 15: Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan was named as one of Wisden’s five Cricketers of the Year, becoming the 18th Pakistani to receive this accolade.
Apr. 15: PMIK received telephone call from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan whereby they discussed issues of mutual interest, including further strengthening of bilateral relations in all areas.
Apr. 15: The federal government issued a notification banning Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) after around half a dozen state institutions termed it a serious threat to national security.
March 16: Libya’s Fayez al-Sarraj, the head of the western-based Government of National Accord, formally handed over power to a new interim executive.
March 16: British actor Riz Ahmed made history as the first Muslim actor to bag a Best Actor nomination at the Oscars. The 38-year-old actor is now the first actor of Pakistani descent to land an Oscar nomination for his role in Sound of Metal.
March 16: New Delhi was declared the world’s most polluted capital for the third straight year, by IQAir, a Swiss group.
March 16: Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin and top US diplomat Antony Blinken began their first overseas trip, to Japan.
March 17: The European Commission proposed for a Covid-19 certificate called “Digital Green Certificate” covering the details regarding the Covid-19 vaccination, testing and recovery.
0Did You Know?
This certificate will cover three types of certificates namely, test certificates (NAAT or RT-PCR test or a rapid antigen test), vaccination certificates and certificates for persons who already recovered from Covid-19 infection. It will be issued in a digital format and well as on paper. Both the formats of certificate will comprise a QR code which will provide key information and a digital signature so as to ensure that the certificate is authentic. A gateway and support Member States will be established to develop software using which the authorities will verify all certificate signatures across the EU. The personal data of the certificate holders will neither pass through the gateway nor will be retained by verifying Member State.
March 17: The EU announced to extend for two years its military mission in the Mediterranean policing the UN arms embargo on conflict-wracked Libya.
March 18: Armenia’s embattled Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced snap polls.
March 18: Russia hosted a conference in Moscow as part of intensifying negotiations between the Afghan government, the Taliban and the United States to negotiate Washington’s exit.
March 18: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed Jean Arnault, a veteran French diplomat, as his personal envoy on Afghanistan and regional issues to help find a solution to the nearly two-decade-old conflict.
About Mr Arnault
Arnault, 70, who has over 30 years of experience in international diplomacy, was Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Afghanistan and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) from 2004 to 2006, where he was also Deputy in 2002-2003.
March 18: Tanzanian President John Magufuli died of a ‘heart condition’, known as chronic atrial fibrillation.
March 19: Nasa successfully carried out a key static test of its troubled Space Launch System rocket.
March 19: While briefing a joint meeting of the European Parliament Commission and the European External Action Service, Marie Arena, the chairperson of the EU Parliament’s committee on human rights said that the EU must talk about human rights in India before establishing broader economic ties with this country in the form of the Free Trade Agreement.
March 19: World Happiness Report was released according to which Finland topped for a fourth year running, with Denmark coming second, followed by Switzerland, Iceland and the Netherlands.
March 19: Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin reached India for the first face-to-face meetings between New Delhi and the Biden administration.
March 19: US and Chinese diplomats clashed in their first face-to-face talks, in Alaska, since President Joe Biden took office.
March 19: The first group of air travellers using the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Travel Pass app landed at London’s Heathrow Airport.
Passengers who used the app were able to create a digital version of their passport on their mobile device, receive verified test results and check Covid-related travel restrictions at the country they were travelling to.
March 19: Samia Suluhu Hassan was sworn in as Tanzania’s first female president after the sudden death of John Magufuli.
March 20: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sacked his market-friendly central bank chief, Naci Agbal, and replaced him with Sahap Kavcioglu, a former ruling party lawmaker.
March 20: Afghanistan completed a 3-0 clean sweep over Zimbabwe in the Twenty20 series played in UAE.
March 20: India beat England in the final T20I to seal the series.
March 20: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani dismissed Interior Minister Masoud Andarabi and appointed Hayatullah Hayat as caretaker minister. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Yasin Zia was appointed acting defence minister, replacing Asadullah Khalid.
March 20: President Erdogan pulled Turkey out of Council of Europe accord, an international accord designed to protect women. Turkey signed the accord in 2011.
March 20: England’s Dawid Malan broke Pakistan skipper Babar Azam’s record of hitting the fastest 1,000 runs in T20Is.
March 21: Famed Egyptian author Nawal el-Saadawi, a champion of women’s rights who revolutionised discussions on gender in the Arab world, died at the age of 89.
March 21: US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan.
March 22: Russia put 38 foreign satellites into orbit from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
March 22: China announced sanctions on 10 Europeans, including politicians and scholars, as well as four entities, in retaliation against the EU’s approval of measures over Beijing’s crackdown on the Uighur minority.
March 22: The EU, Britain, Canada and the US launched coordinated sanctions against officials in China over alleged human rights abuses in the far western Xinjiang region.
March 22: Lionel Messi became Barcelona’s highest appearance maker of all time.
March 23: Veteran Indian writer-director Sagar Sarhadi passed away in Mumbai, aged 87.
March 23: Sri Lanka and China signed a $1.5 billion currency swap deal.
March 24: North Korea fired two short-range missiles. The launches followed joint exercises by the US and South Korean militaries.
March 25: A Soyuz rocket blasted off from the Vostochny cosmodrome in Russia’s Far East carrying 36 UK telecommunications and internet satellites.
March 25: Britain and the United States put sanctions on a conglomerate owned by Myanmar’s military.
March 25: The Fourth Conference of Speakers of Parliaments of Afghanistan, China, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Russia and Turkey ended in Antalya, Turkey, after adopting a joint statement, the ‘Antalya Declaration’.
March 25: The Bank of England printed a new 50 pound currency note containing the picture of World War II code-breaker Alan Turing.
March 26: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies could not get necessary parliamentary seats to form a majority coalition.
March 27: Britain and the EU reached a joint post-Brexit agreement on the regulation of financial services.
March 27: American children’s author Beverly Cleary, the creator of iconic characters including Ramona Quimby and Henry Huggins, died at 104.
March 27: Cities around the world turned off their lights for Earth Hour.
March 27: Iran and China signed a 25-year ‘strategic cooperation pact’ in the latest expansion of Beijing´s flagship trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative.
March 27: Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink was nominated by US president Joe Biden to be the assistant secretary of state for East Asia.
March 27: In a call with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US President Joe Biden suggested founding an initiative from ‘democratic’ countries to rival China’s trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative.
March 28: India beat England to clinch the ODI series.
March 28: Stephanie Frappart became the first female referee to take charge of a men’s World Cup qualifier.
March 29: Lewis Hamilton won a thrilling ‘cliff-hanger’ season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
March 29: The MV Evergreen was refloated and the Suez Canal reopened to traffic, sparking relief almost a week after the huge container ship got stuck and blocked a major artery for global trade.
March 30: New Zealand downed Bangladesh to secure the three-match series.
March 30: The US Secretary of State released the annual ‘2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices’. The report said that in India, societal violence based on religion and caste and by religiously associated groups continued to be a serious concern. Muslims and lower-caste Dalit groups continued to be the most vulnerable.
March 30: Chinese leaders endorsed a sweeping overhaul of Hong Kong’s electoral system, creating powers to vet anyone standing for public office and slashing the number of directly elected politicians. Under the new measures, the city’s legislature will be expanded from 70 to 90 seats. But only 20 of those will now be directly elected, down from 35.
March 31: Russia registered the world’s first coronavirus vaccine for animals.
March 31: President Joe Biden announced the nomination of Zahid Quraishi to the US District Court of New Jersey. If confirmed by the Senate, he will be the first Muslim American to serve as a federal district judge.
March 31: Niger thwarted an ‘attempted coup’, two days before the historic inauguration of Mohamed Bazoum as president of the unstable Sahel nation.
Apr. 01: President Biden outlined his $2.3 trillion plan to re-engineer the America infrastructure in what he billed as a once-in-a-generation investment.
Apr. 02: The US became the first nation to get its 100 million people vaccinated against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Apr. 02: Japanese Nobel laureate Isamu Akasaki, who won the physics prize for pioneering energy-efficient LED lighting — a weapon against global warming and poverty died aged 92.
Apr. 02: Niger’s newly-elected President Mohamed Bazoum was inaugurated, marking the West African nation’s first democratic transfer of power.
Apr. 03: Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin approved the extension of the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes with the United States until December 31, 2030.
Apr. 03: US President Joe Biden revoked sanctions imposed by Donald Trump on the Gambian-born Fatou Bensouda, the top prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
Apr. 03: A procession of floats carrying the mummified remains of 22 pharaohs, including Egypt’s most powerful ancient queen, snaked through Cairo, in an eye-catching parade to a new resting place.
Apr. 04: World number one Ashleigh Barty retained her Miami Open title.
Apr. 04: Australia women secured a world-record 22nd ODI win in a row when they beat New Zealand.
Apr. 04: MPs elected Kosovo’s most popular politician Vjosa Osmani as the country’s new president.
Apr. 04: Foreign ministers from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan kicked off negotiations in Kinshasa over Addis Ababa’s contested giant dam on the Nile.
The Nile, the world’s longest river, is a lifeline supplying both water and electricity to the 10 countries it crosses. Upstream Ethiopia says hydroelectric power produced by the GERD will be vital to meet the energy needs of its 110 million people.
Apr. 04: Nasa’s Ingenuity mini-helicopter was dropped on the surface of Mars in preparation for its first flight.
Apr. 05: Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law allowing him to potentially hold onto power until 2036.
Apr. 06: UAE’s Barakah nuclear power plant started commercial operations in a first for the Arab world.
Apr. 06: North Korea’s sports ministry announced to not join the Tokyo Olympics this year due to coronavirus concerns.
Apr. 06: European intermediaries began shuttling between Iranian and US officials in Vienna as they sought to bring both countries back into full compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal that Washington abandoned three years ago.
Apr. 06: Versatile British actor Paul Ritter, who appeared in the Harry Potter franchise and played a key figure behind nuclear disaster in Chernobyl, died.
Apr. 07: The US announced to restore assistance to the Palestinians severed under former president Donald Trump, with an announcement of $235 million.
The US will also offer $75m in economic and development assistance for the West Bank and Gaza and $10m for peace-building efforts.
Apr. 08: Israel announced to not cooperate with an International Criminal Court war crimes investigation into the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Apr. 08: Diplomats loyal to the Myanmar military authorities seized control of the country’s embassy in London and ousted the current ambassador Kyaw Zwar Minn.
Apr. 09: DMX, the hardcore hip-hop star whose ominous, snarling raps chronicled the violence and struggles of the American street, died. He was 50.
Apr. 09: Russia’s constitutional court ordered stronger laws to punish repeat domestic violence offenders.
Apr. 09: Prince Philip, the longest serving royal consort in British history and a constant presence at Queen Elizabeth II’s side for decades, died aged 99.
Apr. 09: One of US Navy’s warships USS John Paul Jones conducted a freedom of navigation patrol in Indian waters without New Delhi’s prior consent.
An unusual statement by the commander of the Seventh Fleet said their ship entered Indian waters to uphold ‘rights and freedoms’ recognised in international law by ‘challenging India’s excessive maritime claims’.
The note claimed that the move was ‘consistent with international law’, although it also mentioned that ‘India requires prior consent for military exercises or manoeuvres in its EEZ or continental shelf’.
Apr. 10: China slapped a record 18 billion yuan ($2.75 billion) fine on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, after an anti-monopoly probe found the e-commerce giant had abused its dominant market position for several years.
Apr. 10: The UAE named the next two astronauts in its space programme, including the country’s first female astronaut – Nouraal-Matroushi.
Apr. 10: Djibouti’s veteran ruler Ismail Omar Guelleh was re-elected for a fifth term as president.
Apr. 11: Recession drama Nomadland, about a community of van dwellers, was the big winner at Britain’s Bafta awards, scooping best film and prizes for its Chinese-born director Chloe Zhao and leading actress Frances McDormand.
Apr. 11: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin reached Israel on the first high-level visit from the new US administration, after talks restarted on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Apr. 11: A US intelligence report titled ‘The Global Trends: 2040’ was released according to which the Covid-19 pandemic has encouraged negative trends across the globe, stirring nationalist sentiments and scepticism while stalling progress in poverty-reduction and gender inequality.
Apr. 11: The UK government added Pakistan to the list of undesirable 21 high-risk countries with unsatisfactory money-laundering and terrorist-financing controls.
Apr. 11: Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility was hit by a terrorist act.
Apr. 11: India banned the export of anti-viral drug Remdesivir and its active pharmaceutical ingredients after a record spike in Covid-19 cases sent demand surging.
Apr. 11: Former banker Guillermo Lasso won Ecuador’s presidential election.
Apr. 12: Hideki Matsuyama won the 85th Masters, becoming the first Japanese man to win a major golf championship.
Apr. 12: Microsoft announced to acquire artificial intelligence and cloud computing company Nuance for $19.7 billion.
Apr. 12: The second report by an investigations team set up by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was released according to which the Syrian regime’s air force used the chemical weapon chlorine in an attack on the town of Saraqib in 2018.
Apr. 12: Iran charged that its arch-enemy Israel was behind an attack on its Natanz uranium-enrichment plant, and vowed it would take “revenge” and ramp up its nuclear activities.
Apr. 12: The WHO warned that Covid-19 pandemic has entered a critical phase in South Asia as infections exponentially increase despite widespread measures aimed at stopping them.
Apr. 13: Iran warned that it will start enriching uranium up to 60 percent purity, two days after an explosion it blamed on Israel damaged its enrichment plant in Natanz.
Apr. 13: At the start of his first official visit to Europe, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin announced that the United States will station 500 more military personnel in Germany in a bid to strengthen bilateral ties.
Apr. 13: Reuters announced Alessandra Galloni as its new editor-in-chief.
Apr. 13: New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was awarded the Sir Richard Hadlee medal for the fourth time in six years, while women’s allrounder Amelia Kerr and rising star Devon Conway also claimed top honours at the New Zealand Cricket Awards for the 2020-21 season.
Apr. 14: Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed signed a controversial law extending his mandate for another two years.
Apr. 14: Bernie Madoff, the financier who pleaded guilty to orchestrating the largest Ponzi scheme in history, died in jail in the US state of North Carolina. He was 82.
Apr. 14: Former Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak was banned from all cricket for eight years after he accepted five charges of breaching the International Cricket Council (ICC) Anti-Corruption Code.
Apr. 14: President Joe Biden said he will withdraw remaining US troops from the “forever war” in Afghanistan, declaring that the Sept. 11 terror attacks of 20 years ago cannot justify American forces still dying in the nation’s longest war.
Apr. 15: The US announced economic sanctions against Russia and the expulsion of 10 diplomats in retaliation for what Washington says is the Kremlin’s US election interference, a massive cyber attack and other hostile activity.
Apr. 15: The US sanctioned a Pakistan-based organisation and six individuals for acting on behalf of Russian network that attempted to interfere in American presidential election.
1. On March 16, ______ signed an agreement with SUPARCO under which its entire network will be monitored by using satellite technology.
(a) PTA (d) UNDP
(c) Ministry of Communication
(d) National Highway Authority
2. Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) is headquartered in ______.
(a) Lahore (b) Karachi
(c) Islamabad (d) Hyderabad
3. Gam-COVID-Vac is a viral two-vector vaccine that is commonly known as ______.
(a) Sputnik V (b) Sinovac
(c) CoronaVac (d) Sinopharm
4. The two-day Islamabad Security Dialogue was inaugurated on ______.
(a) March 17 (b) March 18
(c) March 19 (d) March 20
5. The National Security Division’s Advisory Portal was launched on ______.
(a) March 16 (b) March 17
(c) March 18 (d) March 19
6. On March 17, the ______ signed an agreement to support Pakistan’s civil society by co-financing three projects.
(a) World Bank (b) UNDP
(c) ADB (d) EU
7. On ______, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission connected the 1,100-megawatt Karachi Nuclear Power Plant Unit-2 (K-2) to the national grid.
(a) March 18 (b) March 19
(c) March 20 (d) March 21
8. The current chairman of Islamabad-based Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission is ______.
(a) Muhammad Naeem
(b) Dr Farid A. Malik
(d) Dr Samar Mubarakmand
9. On March 19, Air Chief Marshal ______ took charge as the new chief of Pakistan Air Force.
(a) Zaheer Ahmad Baber Sidhu
(b) Shahab Khan Zuberi
(c) Mohammad Asif Zaman
(d) Fazal Shakoor Khan
10. On ______, an anti-terrorism court awarded death sentence to both accused – Abid Malhi and Shafqat alias Bagga – in Motorway gang-rape case.
(a) March 18 (b) March 19
(c) March 20 (d) March 21
11. On March 21, Pakistan Army team claimed gold medal in International Adventure Competition held in ______.
(a) Sri Lanka (b) China
(c) UK (d) Nepal
12. Pakistan has been ranked ______ out of 149 countries in the list of world’s happiest, countries according to the World Happiness Report 2021.
(a) 92nd (b) 105th
(c) 112th (d) 121st
13. On March 23, Pakistan and India began their first talks under the Permanent Indus Commission in two and a half years in ______.
(a) New Delhi (b) Lahore
(c) Amritsar (d) Islamabad
15. The current president of All Pakistan Newspapers Society is ______.
(a) Jamil Ather (d) Sarmad Ali
(c) Mohsin Bilal (d) Owais Khushnood
16. On March 24, Allama Iqbal Open University and ______ universities joined hands to undertake initiatives for the promotion of the Arabic language in Pakistan.
(a) Kuwaiti (b) Palestinian
(c) Emirati (d) Saudi
17. Pakistan’s first television host, anchor and artist, Kanwal Naseer, passed away on ______.
(a) March 24 (b) March 25
(c) March 26 (d) March 27
18. The Pakistan Day Military Parade was held at the Parade Avenue, Islamabad on ______.
(a) March 22 (b) March 23
(c) March 24 (d) March 25
19. On March 25, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered restoration of the local government system in ______.
(a) KP (b) Balochistan
(c) Punjab (d) Sindh
20. On March 26, the government reopened the Saidu Sharif Airport in ______ for commercial flights as the PIA resumed its operation after a hiatus of 17 years.
(a) Skardu (b) Swat
(c) Hunza (d) Gilgit
21. On March 26, Pakistan conducted successful flight test of ______ surface-to-surface ballistic missile, having a range of 900 kilometres.
(a) Ababeel-III (b) Shaheen-1A
(c) Nasr-II (d) Hatf-III
22. Renowned playwright Haseena Moin passed away on ______.
(a) March 25 (b) March 26
(c) March 27 (d) March 28
23. Haseena Moin was the writing force behind Pakistan’s first original script, ______, in the early 1970s.
(a) Tanhaiyaan (b) Dhoop Kinaray
(c) Shehzori (d) Kiran Kahani
24. On March 27, the federal government removed Higher Education Commission chairman ______ from his post.
(a) Tariq Banuri (b) Asif Jah
(c) Dr Qibla Ayaz (d) Ahmed Bilal
25. The current opposition leader in the National Assembly is Shahbaz Sharif while that in the Senate is ______.
(a) Azam Nazir Tarar
(b) Yusuf Raza Gilani
(c) Abdul Ghafoor Haideri
(d) Sherry Rehman
26. On March 29, Pakistan and ______ agreed to expand economic portfolio to increase cooperation in different areas.
(a) UNDP (b) World Bank
(c) ADB (d) Japan
27. On March 30, Col (r) Mohammad Asif Zaman was appointed the new ______ of the Pakistan Sports Board for a period of three years.
(a) DG (b) Chairman
(c) President (d) Secretary
28. On Apr. 01, the ______ announced all-out financial and technical support to PMIK’s countrywide initiatives for environmental conservation and protection
(a) World Bank (b) United Nations
(c) WEF (d) ADB
29. On ______, the federal cabinet rejected resumption of trade with India as suggested by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC).
(a) Apr. 01 (b) Apr. 02
(c) Apr. 03 (d) Apr. 04
30. The first Pakistani to serve as Rotary International (RI) director is ______.
(a) Momin Saqib (b) M. Faiz Kidwai
(c) Afreen Lakhani (d) Sarmad Ali
31. On ______, Gwadar, a crown jewel of CPEC, became the capital of southern Balochistan.
(a) Apr. 01 (b) Apr. 02
(c) Apr. 03 (d) Apr. 04
32. Babar Azam has broken the record for the fastest to reach 13 ODI centuries by achieving the feat in ______ innings.
(a) 74 (b) 76
(c) 80 (d) 83
33. Pakistan won gold medal at the Rome Olympics of ______.
(a) 1948 (b) 1952
(c) 1956 (d) 1960
34. In the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, Pakistan hockey team won ______ medal.
(a) Gold (b) Silver
(c) Bronze (b) None of these
35. On Apr. 04, Pakistan Blind Cricket team outclassed India to win the Triangular Blind Cricket Series which was held in ______.
(a) Dhaka (b) Dubai
(c) Kabul (d) Colombo
36. UNDP’s Pakistan National Human Development Report 2020 has highlighted that Power, People and ______ are the key drivers of inequality in Pakistan.
(a) Politics (b) Prestige
(c) Policy (d) Planning
37. Pakistan Development Update is released by the ______.
(a) Moody’s (b) WEF
(c) IMF (d) World Bank
38. Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Pakistan for a two-day visit on ______.
(a) Apr. 03 (b) Apr. 04
(c) Apr. 05 (d) Apr. 06
39. On Apr. 09, CM Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah, inaugurated Pakistan’s first Girls’ Cadet College in district Shaheed Benazirabad previously known as ______.
(a) Khairpur (b) Larkana
(c) Badin (d) Nawabshah
40. On Apr. 09, the government appointed ______ the new chairman FBR.
(a) Hammad Azhar(b) Shaukat Tareen
(c) Hamid Rashid (d) Asim Ahmad
1. On March 16, ______ Fayez al-Sarraj, the head of the western-based Government of National Accord, formally handed over power to a new interim executive.
(a) Libya’s (b) Lebanon’s
(c) Niger’s (d) Syria’s
2. On March 16, ______ made history as he became the first Muslim actor to bag a Best Actor nomination at the Oscars.
(a) Maria Qassem (b) Riz Ahmed
(c) Faran Tahir (d) Salma Hayek
3. The current chief of Pentagon is ______.
(a) Nikol Pashinyan (b) Lloyd Austin
(c) Antony Blinken (d) Mike Pompeo
4. The “Digital Green Certificate,” covering the details regarding the Covid-19 vaccination, testing and recovery, has been proposed by ______.
(a) EU (b) USA
(c) UK (d) ASEAN
5. On March 18, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed Jean Arnault, a veteran ______ diplomat, his personal envoy on Afghanistan and regional issues
(a) Belgian (b) French
(c) Portuguese (d) Venezuelan
6. On ______, Russia hosted a conference in Moscow as part of intensifying negotiations between the Afghan government, the Taliban and the United States to negotiate Washington’s exit.
(a) March 16 (b) March 17
(c) March 18 (d) March 19
7. The current chairperson of the EU Parliament’s committee on human rights, who has urged the EU to talk about human rights in India before establishing broader economic ties with this country in the form of a Free Trade Agreement, is ______.
(a) Marie Arena (b) Nikol Pashinyan
(a) Henry Huggins (d) Malinda Vera
8. According to World Happiness Report 2021, ______ is the world’s happiest country for a fourth year running.
(a) Finland (b) Netherlands
(c) Denmark (d) Iceland
9. On March 19, the first face-to-face talks between the US and Chinese diplomats were held in ______.
(a) Philadelphia (b) Alaska
(c) New York (d) Ohio
10. On March 19, Samia Suluhu Hassan was sworn in as ______ first female president, after the sudden death of John Magufuli.
(a) Ethiopia’s (b) Nigeria’s
(c) Tanzania’s (d) Algeria’s
11. On March 20, President Erdogan pulled Turkey out of Council of Europe accord, an international accord designed to protect women, which his country signed in ______.
(a) 2008 (b) 2011
(c) 2015 (d) 2017
12. On March 20, ______ Dawid Malan broke Pakistan skipper Babar Azam’s record of hitting the fastest 1,000 runs in T20Is.
(a) England’s (b) Australia’s
(c) New Zealand’s (d) South Africa’s
13. On March 22, Russia put 38 foreign satellites into orbit from the Baikonur cosmodrome in ______.
(a) Azerbaijan (b) Kazakhstan
(c) Uzbekistan (d) Tajikistan
14. On March 22, Lionel Messi of ______ became Barcelona’s highest appearance-maker of all time.
(a) Spain (b) Argentina
(c) Uruguay (d) Portugal
15. On March 23, ______ and China signed a $1.5 billion currency swap deal.
(a) Bangladesh (b) Sri Lanka
(c) Saudi Arabia (d) Iran
16. On March 25, the fourth Conference of Speakers of Parliaments of Afghanistan, China, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Russia and Turkey was held in ______.
(a) Islamabad (b) Antalya
(c) Istanbul (d) Ankara
17. On March 25, the Bank of England printed a new 50 GB pound currency note containing the picture of World War II code-breaker______.
(a) Alan Turing (b) Noor Inayat
(c) Daniel David (d) Ramona Quimby
18. On ______, Iran and China signed a 25-year ‘strategic cooperation pact’ in the latest expansion of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative.
(a) March 26 (b) March 27
(b) March 28 (c) March 29
19. On March 27, Daniel Kritenbrink was nominated by US president Joe Biden to be his assistant secretary of state for______.
(a) Afghanistan (b) East Asia
(c) South Asia (d) Asia-Pacific
20. The giant container ship that choked the Suez Canal recently was named ______.
(a) Evergreen (b) Sea Bride
(c) Tampa (d) Maersk
21. Suez Canal is owned by ______.
(a) Syria (b) Turkey
(c) Egypt (d) None of these
22. On March 30, Chinese leaders endorsed a sweeping overhaul of ______ electoral system.
(a) Macau’s (b) Taiwan’s
(c) Hong Kong’s (d) None of these
23. On March 31, ______ registered the world’s first coronavirus vaccine for animals.
(a) China (b) USA
(c) Germany (d) Russia
24. On______, President Biden outlined his $2.3 trillion plan to re-engineer the American infrastructure.
(a) March 30 (b) March 31
(c) Apr. 01 (d) Apr. 02
26. On Apr. 02, Japanese Nobel laureate Isamu Akasaki, who won the Physics prize for pioneering energy-efficient______ died, aged 92.
(a) Solar panels (b) Lithium batteries
(c) LED lighting (d) None of these
27. On Apr. 02, ______ newly-elected President Mohamed Bazoum was inaugurated, marking the West African nation’s first democratic transfer of power.
(a) Niger’s (b) Nigeria’s
(a) Sudan’s (d) Algeria’s
28. On Apr. 03, ______ Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin approved the extension of the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes with the United States until December 31, 2030.
(a) Russian (b) Ukrainian
(c) Polish (d) Belarusian
29. On Apr. 04, ______ women secured a world-record 22nd ODI win in a row when they beat New Zealand.
(a) England (b) South Africa
(c) Australia (d) India
30. On Apr. 04, Vjosa Osmani was elected as the president of ______.
(a) Kosovo (b) Poland
(c) Tanzania (d) Senegal
31. On Apr. 04, foreign ministers from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan kicked off negotiations in ______ over Addis Ababa’s contested giant dam on the Nile.
(a) Kinshasa (b) Addis Ababa
(c) Khartoum (d) Cairo
32. On Apr. 04, Nasa’s ______ mini-helicopter was dropped on the surface of Mars in preparation for its first flight.
(a) Perseverance (b) Inventive
(c) Ingenuity (d) Tenacity
33. Indirect talks between US and Iranian officials were held on Apr. 06 in ______.
(a) London (b) Vienna
(c) Brussels (d) Rome
34. On Apr. 07, the US announced to restore assistance to the ______ severed under former president Donald Trump.
(a) WHO (b) Palestine
(c) Jordan (d) Afghanistan
35. On ______, Prince Philip, the longest serving royal consort in British history and a constant presence at Queen Elizabeth II’s side for decades, died aged 99.
(a) Apr. 07 (b) Apr. 08
(c) Apr. 09 (d) Apr. 09
36. The US Navy warship that conducted, on Apr. 09, a freedom of navigation patrol in Indian waters without New Delhi’s prior consent was ______.
(a) USS Woodrow Wilson
(b) USS John Paul Jones
(c) USS Abraham Lincoln
(d) USS John Adams
37. On Apr. 11, the ______ government added Pakistan to the list of undesirable 21 high-risk countries with unsatisfactory money-laundering and terrorist-financing controls.
(a) Italian (b) French
(c) UK (d) US
38. On Apr. 11, Iran’s ______ nuclear facility was hit by a terrorist act.
(a) Arak (b) Karaj
(c) Natanz (d) Fordo
39. On his first official visit to Europe, on April 13, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin announced to station 500 more US military personnel in ______.
(a) France (b) Poland
(c) Greece (d) Germany
40. On Apr. 14, US President Joe Biden announced to withdraw remaining US troops from Afghanistan by ______, 2021.
(a) June 30 (b) August 31
(c) Sept. 11 (d) Dec. 31