World in Focus ( JAN-FEB 2021)
National & International
Jan. 16: US President-elect Joe Biden announced to upgrade the White House science adviser position to cabinet-level.
Jan. 16: Wrapping up a two-day exercise, Great Prophet 15, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards test-fired ballistic missiles in the Indian Ocean.
Jan. 16: Leaked WhatsApp chat between Indian journalist Arnab Goswami and Partho Dasgupta, the head of the Indian Broadcast Audience Research Council, revealed that Pulwama was a drama as India had its soldiers killed and then blamed Pakistan for it.
Jan. 16: A team of Nepalese climbers made history after becoming the first to summit K2 — the world’s second highest mountain, the last peak above 8,000 metres to be topped in wintertime—in winter.
Jan. 16: The United States imposed sanctions on companies in Iran, China and the United Arab Emirates for doing business with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, and on three Iranian entities over conventional arms proliferation.
Jan. 16: Fiat Chrysler and PSA sealed their long-awaited merger to create Stellantis, the world’s fourth-largest auto group.
Jan. 16: India started inoculating health workers in the world’s largest Covid-19 vaccination campaign.
Jan. 16: Burkina Faso’s Hugues Fabrice Zango set a new world indoor triple jump record, leaping 18.07 metres at the Meeting d’Aubiere.
Zango’s record is the first 18m-plus jump achieved indoors.
Jan. 17: The Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Bill was signed into law by United States President Donald Trump.
Jan. 17: Israel advanced plans for 780 new illegal settle homes in the occupied West Bank.
Jan. 17: Gunmen shot dead two Afghan women judges, working for the Supreme Court, in an ambush in Kabul, the country’s capital.
Jan. 17: The UN Environment Programme Adaptation Gap report was released which said that the world is falling short of promises made under the Paris climate deal to help the most vulnerable nations deal with the increasingly devastating impacts of climate change.
Jan. 17: Legendary Indian classical musician and Padma Shri- awardee Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan passed away.
Jan. 18: The first direct flights since 2017 between Qatar and its former rivals Egypt and the UAE took to the skies.
Jan. 18: Lee Jae-yong, vice-chairman of Samsung Electronics, the world’s biggest smartphone and memory chip-maker, was convicted over a huge corruption scandal and jailed for two and a half years.
Jan. 19: India defeated Australia at Brisbane’s Gabba ground to clinch the four-Test series 2-1.
Jan. 19: President-elect Joe Biden tapped Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine to be his assistant secretary of health, leaving her poised to become the first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the US Senate.
Jan. 20: Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States. Biden swore the oath of office moments after Kamala Harris.
Ø At 78, Biden is the oldest president in the US history and only the second Roman Catholic president.
Ø Harris, the daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, became the highest-ranking woman in the US history and the first person of colour as the nation’s number two.
Jan. 20: Zimbabwe’s foreign minister, Sibusiso Moyo, died after contracting Covid-19.
Jan. 21: Joe Biden’s administration unveiled a detailed Covid-19 roadmap to boost vaccinations and testing while centering scientific expertise.
Jan. 21: Soon after taking charge as the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden issued orders to reverse a number of Donald Trump’s divisive policies including returning to WHO, joining Paris climate pact and rescinding Muslim ban.
Jan. 21: Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons entered into force.
Jan. 22: Bangladesh beat West Indies to seal the three-match ODI series 2-0.
Jan. 22: The US Senate confirmed retired general Lloyd Austin as secretary of defence, becoming the first African American to lead the Department of Defense.
Jan. 22: Britain announced to ask people about their gender identity for the first time in the country’s March 2021 census.
Jan. 23: Larry King, who quizzed thousands of world leaders, politicians and entertainers for CNN and other news outlets in a career spanning more than six decades, died aged 87.
Jan. 23: The Biden administration announced to review a landmark US deal with the Taliban, focusing on whether the latter had reduced attacks in Afghanistan in keeping with its commitment.
Jan. 23: England pacer James Anderson became the second fast bowler after the great Richard Hadlee to take 30 fifers (5 wickets in an innings) in Test cricket.
Jan. 24: The UAE approved the establishment of the country’s first embassy in Israel.
Jan. 24: Israel opened its embassy in the UAE.
Jan. 24: Tse Chi Lop, the ringleader of Asia’s biggest crime syndicate and one of the world’s most wanted men, was arrested in the Netherlands.
Jan. 24: Spain’s Carolina Marin and Viktor Axelsen from Denmark claimed their second Thailand Open badminton singles titles in a fortnight.
Jan. 24: Kuwait’s emir reappointed Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid al-Sabah as prime minister.
Jan. 25: US President Joe Biden overturned Donald Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military.
Jan. 25: Kaja Kallas became Estonia’s first female prime minister.
Jan. 25: Chinese President Xi Jinping warned global leaders at an all-virtual Davos forum against starting a “new Cold War”, and urged global unity in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
Jan. 26: The US Senate confirmed Antony Blinken as the 71st US Secretary of State.
Jan. 26: Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigned.
Jan. 26: Thousands of Indian farmers fought pitched battles with police across New Delhi, as they took protests against agriculture reforms into the capital during the Republic Day military parade.
Jan. 26: Taliban political envoys reached Tehran for talks on the peace process.
Jan. 27: Russian lawmakers in parliament’s lower house, the State Duma, unanimously voted to ratify the agreement to prolong New START, the last remaining arms reduction treaty between the former Cold War rivals, i.e. Russia and USA.
Jan. 27: Nearly two-thirds of 1.2 million people polled worldwide say humanity faces a climate emergency, a UN survey revealed, the largest of its kind ever undertaken.
Jan. 27: Hong Kong government declared that dual citizens must choose the nationality they wish to maintain.
Jan. 27: US President Joe Biden’s administration temporarily froze for review a massive package of F-35 jets to the UAE and arms to Saudi Arabia.
Jan. 28: Transparency International (TI) released its Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2020 according to which Denmark and New Zealand topped the index this year, with 88 points each. Syria, Somalia and South Sudan are at the bottom of the chart with 14, 12 and 12 points, respectively.
Jan. 28: Japan’s Toyota reclaimed the title of world’s top-selling automaker in 2020.
Jan. 29: China announced that it will “no longer recognise” the British National (Overseas) passport for Hong Kongers.
Jan. 29: Bridgerton became Netflix’s most popular new series, with more than 82 million households tuning in to watch it.
Jan. 30: The UAE announced opening of a path to citizenship for select foreigners, in a rare move for the Gulf where the status and its welfare benefits are jealously guarded.
Jan. 31: A new visa scheme offering millions of Hong Kongers a pathway to British citizenship was started.
Jan. 31: Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong was re-elected – a victory that makes him the most powerful leader in decades.
Feb. 01: China launched a carbon trading system designed to drive down emissions, as the world’s biggest polluter takes steps towards decarbonising its economy by 2060.
Feb. 01: Israel and Kosovo established diplomatic ties, with the Muslim-majority territory recognising al-Quds as the Jewish state’s capital.
Feb. 01: Myanmar’s military seized power in a bloodless coup and imposed a one-year state of emergency.
Feb. 02: Following the postponement of the Test series between South Africa and Australia, New Zealand became the first team to qualify for the inaugural ICC World Test Championship final.
Feb. 02: US President Joe Biden’s pick for Secretary of Transportation was confirmed by making Pete Buttigieg the first openly gay member of a White House cabinet.
Feb. 02: Sri Lanka pulled out of an agreement with Japan and India to develop a deep-sea container terminal viewed as an effort to counter China’s growing influence in the region.
Feb. 02: Capt. Tom Moore, the World War II veteran who walked into the hearts of a nation in lockdown as he shuffled up and down his garden to raise money for healthcare workers died after testing positive for Covid-19. He was 100.
Feb. 02: Wikipedia unveiled a ‘universal code of conduct’ aimed at stemming abuse, misinformation and manipulation on the global online encyclopedia.
Feb. 03: Alexei Navalny, Putin’s most prominent critic was jailed for nearly three years.
Feb. 03: Amazon.com Inc.’s founder Jeff Bezos announced to step down as CEO and become executive chairman. He will hand the keys of the world’s largest online retailer to Andy Jassy, head of its cloud computing division.
Feb. 04: In his first major foreign policy speech, US President Joe Biden said the war in Yemen “has to end”, pledging to terminate US support for Saudi-led offensive operations and to halt arms sales.
Feb. 05: Libyan delegates at UN-facilitated talks outside Geneva made the surprise choice of Abdul Hamid Dbeibah as the transitional unity prime minister to take the war-ravaged country through to elections in December.
Feb. 05: Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company announced to adapt British-Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid’s novel Exit West into a film.
Feb. 05: The Harvard Law Review named Hassaan Shahawy, a Los Angeles-born Egyptian-American as, what it believes, is its first Muslim president in its 134-year history.
Feb. 06: England captain Joe Root became the first batsman to smash a double hundred in his 100th Test, after he amassed 218 runs against India.
Feb. 06: The Taliban warned US President Joe Biden’s administration against abandoning the February 29 deal between the two adversaries, saying leaving the agreement “will lead to a dangerous escalation” in the Afghan war.
Feb. 06: Christopher Plummer, the award-winning actor who, at 82, became the oldest Academy Award acting winner in history, died. He was 91.
Feb. 06: The United Nations kicked off the selection of its next secretary-general, asking the 193 UN member states to submit candidates to be the world organization’s chief diplomat and operating officer.
Feb. 06: The International Criminal Court ruled that it had jurisdiction over the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, paving the way for the tribunal to open a war crimes investigation.
Feb. 06: The New York became the first state in the United States to proclaim February 5 as Kashmir Day.
Feb. 06: Former US Secretary of State George Shultz, a titan of American academia, business and diplomacy who spent most of the 1980s trying to improve Cold War relations with the Soviet Union and forging a course for peace in the Middle East, died. He was 100.
Feb. 07: Former West Indies fast bowler Ezra Moseley died in an accident.
Feb. 07: The United Nations special envoy on Yemen, Martin Griffiths, reached Iran on a two-day visit.
Feb. 08: The United States announced to “re-engage” with the UN Human Rights Council, nearly three years after former president Donald Trump’s administration withdrew the country from body.
Feb. 08: Tesla announced a $1.5 billion investment in the digital money Bitcoin.
Feb. 08: Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok dissolved the cabinet.
Feb. 08: Martial law was declared in parts of Myanmar’s second-largest city Mandalay.
Feb. 08: Leaders of rival Palestinian factions began Egypt-brokered reconciliation talks in Cairo.
Feb. 09: UAE’s ‘Hope’ probe successfully entered Mars’ orbit, making history as the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission.
Feb. 09: Winchester College, one of Britain’s oldest and most prestigious private schools, announced to open its ancient doors to girls for the first time in its six-century history.
Feb. 09: North Korea and Iran resumed cooperation on the development of long-range missiles in 2020, according to a UN report that also confirmed Pyongyang continues to violate various nuclear resolutions.
Feb. 09: The coronavirus most likely first appeared in humans after jumping from an animal, a team of international and Chinese scientists looking for the origins of Covid-19 said, dismissing as unlikely an alternate theory that the virus leaked from a Chinese lab.
Feb. 10: China’s Tianwen-1 probe entered the orbit of the planet Mars.
Feb. 10: The UN Security Council failed to agree on a joint declaration on war-torn Syria.
Feb. 10: Saudi authorities released prominent women’s rights activist Loujain alHathloul.
Feb. 11: Joe Biden challenged Chinese leader Xi Jinping on human rights, trade and regional muscle-flexing, in their first call since the new US president took office.
Feb. 11: China’s broadcasting regulator pulled BBC World News from the air, saying the channel’s content had “seriously” violated guidelines for reporting in the country.
Feb. 11: India reached an agreement with China for both to pull back from part of their contested Himalayan border.
Feb. 11: Nepal revoked the Everest summit certificates of two Indian climbers for faking their 2016 ascent, and banned them and their team leader from mountaineering in the country for six years.
Feb. 12: Bayern Munich beat Tigres to win the Club World Cup.
Feb. 12: Tokyo 2020 Olympics chief, Yoshiro Mori, resigned for his sexist remarks that sparked a global outcry.
Feb. 13: Former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi was formally sworn in as Italy’s new prime minister.
Feb. 13: The remains of French and Russian soldiers who died during Napoleon’s catastrophic retreat from Moscow in 1812 were laid to rest, in a rare moment of unity between the two countries.
Feb. 13: Former president Donald Trump was acquitted 57:43 in his historic second impeachment trial by the US Senate.
Feb. 13: More than 120 countries elected British lawyer Karim Khan as the next prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Feb. 14: West Indies defeated Bangladesh in the second and final Test to complete a series whitewash.
Feb. 14: The UAE’s “Hope” probe sent back its first image of Mars.
The image was taken from an altitude of 24,700 kilometres (15,300 miles) above the Martian surface.
Feb. 15: Kosovo’s left-wing Vetevendosje (Self-Determination) party secured a landslide victory in parliamentary elections.
Feb. 15: China overtook the United States, in 2020, as the EU’s biggest trading partner, the EU statistics agency Eurostat.
Feb. 15: The World Health Organisation granted an emergency authorisation to AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine.
Feb. 15: Former Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala received unanimous backing to become the first woman and first African director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Jan. 16: Under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, two mega housing projects were connected with the national grid in Gwadar.
Jan. 16: China and Pakistan agreed to organize cultural and tourism activities, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Jan. 16: AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine was approved for emergency use in Pakistan, making it the first coronavirus vaccine to get the green light for use in the country.
Jan. 16: US President-elect Joe Biden inducted a second Pakistani American, Salman Ahmed, into his foreign policy team.
Jan. 18: PPP candidate Ameer Ali Shah won the by-polls in PS-52 (Umarkot-II).
Jan. 18: The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) approved another Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by Chinese state-owned firm Sinopharm.
Jan. 18: The Chief Executive Officer of the Balochistan Board of Investment and Trade, Farman Zarkoon, introduced Balochistan’s first investment policy.
Jan. 18: Prime Minister Imran Khan (PMIK) reconstituted the Executive Committee of National Council (Ecnec).
Jan. 18: An anti-terrorism court handed down fourteen-and-a-half year jail each to Jamaat-ud-Dawa leaders Zafar Iqbal and Yahya Mujahid in two cases of terror financing.
Jan. 18: Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy was named one of the best 18 Asian directors.
Jan. 18: The Pakistan Army was ranked the 10th most powerful in the world out of 133 countries on the Global Firepower index 2021.
Pakistan is the only country in the top 15 which improved its ranking.
Jan. 19: Punjab upgraded all 44 nursing schools to nursing colleges.
Jan. 19: The Government of Pakistan appointed Afzaal Mahmood the new ambassador to the UAE.
Jan. 19: The federal government transferred Balochistan inspector general Mohsin Hassan Butt and replaced him with Muhammad Tahir Rai.
Jan. 19: The government nominated retired Lt Gen Bilal Akbar as the new ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
Jan. 19: Pakistan’s rank on the trading across border index jumped by 31 positions from 142nd to 111th.
Jan. 19: Pakistan jumped up 28 places from 136th to 108th in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index 2020.
Jan. 20: Lt Gen (r) Muzammil Hussain emerged as unopposed chairman of the Pakistan Boxing Federation.
Jan. 20: Firdous Shamim Naqvi submitted his resignation to the Sindh Assembly secretary as the Sindh Assembly’s opposition leader. Haleem Adil Shaikh succeeded him.
Jan. 20: Pakistan conducted successful flight test of Shaheen-III surface-to-surface ballistic missile, having a range of 2,750 kilometres.
Jan. 20: The federal government announced reforms in the civil services.
Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood, who is also chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Institutional Reforms, said under the Civil Servants Efficiency and Discipline (E&D) Rules 2020, promotion of a civil servant would be deferred if he/she was facing any criminal proceedings. If an inquiry, investigation or reference was pending against an official in the National Accountability Bureau, Federal Investigation Agency or any other investigation agency, his promotion would be deferred.
Jan. 21: Gilgit-Baltistan Scouts lifted the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) Alpine Ski Cup at the PAF Ski Resort in Naltar.
Jan. 21: Khushdil Khan from Peshawar was elected unopposed as Vice Chairman of Pakistan Bar Council (PBC).
Jan. 21: The president promulgated Income Tax Amendment Ordinance, 2021, for extending the deadline for availing tax amnesty scheme for the construction sector.
Jan. 21: China announced a gift of 500,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine for Pakistan.
Jan. 22: Acting US Charge d’ Affairs to Pakistan called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Jan. 22: Meritorious Professor Dr Muhammad Siddique Kalhoro was appointed the vice chancellor of University of Sindh, Jamshoro.
Jan. 22: Noted radio, TV, and stage actor Musahib Ali alias Ali Nasir Afridi died. He was 80.
Jan. 23: The Gilgit-Baltistan Scouts team clinched the 28th National Alpine Ski Championship.
Jan. 23: The Gilgit-Baltistan Ski Association team won both the ice speed skating and the 3rd ice hockey championships.
Jan. 23: The government allowed the import and distribution of the Russia-developed Sputnik V.
Jan. 24: The welding ceremony of the third Milgem class corvette ship for Pakistan Navy was held at the Istanbul Naval Shipyard, Turkey.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Ambassador of Pakistan to Turkey Mohammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi jointly kicked off the project by performing the block welding.
Jan. 24: A new World Bank report titled ‘Groundwater in Pakistan’s Indus Basin: Present and Future Prospects’ said that the Indus basin groundwater in aquifers in Pakistan is at least 80 times the volume of freshwater held in the country’s three biggest dams, yet in 2020 Pakistan faced a severe groundwater crisis.
Jan. 24: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas and Tourism Zulfi Bukhari announced the launch of ‘Brand Pakistan’ programme.
Jan. 25: PMIK presented a five-point agenda to address the structural barriers in global prosperity, proposing equitable supply of Covid-19 vaccine to developing countries and suspension of debt repayments for most stressed countries until end of pandemic.
1. Creating a viable framework for equitable supply of Covid vaccines to developing countries
2. Additional debt relief by suspending debt repayments for most stressed countries until the end of the pandemic
3. General allocation of special drawing rights of $500 billion
4. Return of stolen assets held by corrupt politicians and criminals
5. Mobilising $100b annually by developed countries for climate action in developing countries.
Jan. 26: By scoring his 27th ton in this format, veteran batsman Khurram Manzoor broke the record of Saeed Anwar of the highest number of List A centuries.
Jan. 26: Well-known Urdu orator, ‘Zakir’ and prolific poet, Rehan Azmi passed away.
Dr. Rehan Azmi was born in 1956 in Liaquatabad, Karachi. He started his literary journey in 1974. Azmi was one of the leading poets of Pakistan who received hundreds of awards and certificates. He authored over 25 books, wrote more than 4,000 songs but at the height of his fame bid farewell to romantic poetry and dedicated his pen to the grief of the Ahl al-Bayt.
He introduced new styles of lamentation and set new angles of thought. His elegies, Manqabat and poetry earned him international recognition. In 1997, his name was included in the Guinness Book of World Records as one of the most prolific poets.
Many of his books have been translated into Hindi, Gujarati, Sanskrit, Tamil and Telugu languages.
Jan. 27: Pakistan and Islamic Development Bank inaugurated 113-kilometre power transmission lines on its border along Afghanistan.
Jan. 27: The Intellectual Property Organization (IPO) awarded geographical indication (GI) tag for Basmati rice to the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP)
Since Basmati rice fetches higher prices in the international market, India had attempted to block Pakistan’s trade in the EU by declaring that its Basmati was the geographically original one. Pakistan had challenged the claim and, by registering its own GI for Basmati, it would claim the same protection of its Basmati in the EU as India.
Jan. 27: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced a new five-year loan program, estimated at approximately $10 billion, for Pakistan to help in expanding economic opportunities in the country.
Jan. 27: European Parliament members raised questions over India’s state-sponsorship of the fake media outlets and lobbyists that were long used to target Pakistan.
Jan. 27: The government of Japan announced to provide $4.57 million grant to procure essential oral polio vaccine as part of its continued support to Pakistan for polio eradication.
Jan. 27: The Ministry of Human Rights set up Pakistan’s first Human Rights Information Resource Portal, developed in partnership with the European Union in Pakistan.
Jan. 27: The Malaysian authorities released the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane which was seized after the national flag carrier failed to clear the dues of the leasing firm.
Jan. 28: Veteran leader of JI, parliamentarian, labour leader and students’ leader, Hafiz Salman Butt, died at 65.
Jan. 28: Noted Pashto poet Mushtaq Majrooh Yousafzai died of Covid-19.
Jan. 28: The government reconstituted the board of directors of the National Transmission & Despatch Company (NTDC) under the chairmanship of former managing director of K-Electric Naveed Ismail.
Jan. 28: A three-member SC bench, headed by Justice Mushir Alam, accepted the appeal of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and ordered his release.
Jan. 28: Transparency International (TI) released its Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2020 according to which Pakistan has slipped by four points and stands at 124th position in comparison to 120th position in 2019.
Jan. 28: Lashkar-e-Islam chief Mangal Bagh, who was wanted to Pakistan for attacks on security forces, was killed in a bomb blast in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province.
Jan. 29: Pakistan’s towering philanthropist and humanitarian Bilquis Edhi was declared the ‘Person of the Decade’, along with human rights rapporteur of the UN Prof Yanghee Lee, and the US ethicist Stephen Soldz.
Jan. 29: Pakistan rejected the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that came into force on January 21 and said it was not bound by any of its obligations.
Jan. 30: Renowned Pakistani film actress and mother of actor Shaan Shahid, Neelo Begum, died at the age 80.
Jan. 30: Pakistan Navy (PN) received the second of four advanced warships of Type-054 Class Frigate constructed for Pakistan Navy at a ceremony held at Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard Shanghai, China.
Jan. 31: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa clinched the Pakistan Cup One-day Tournament 2020-21.
Jan. 31: China and Pakistan signed an MOU to enhance agricultural cooperation and establish intelligent agricultural systems in Pakistan.
Feb. 01: The Senate passed a bill providing for compulsory teaching of Arabic in all educational institutions.
Feb. 01: Pakistan’s first-ever forest monitoring system, National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS), was launched. The monitoring system would be based on Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) functions.
Feb. 01: The first batch of 500,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine arrived in Pakistan through a special PAF flight.
Feb. 01: Mohammad Aslam Khan, a 33-year-old boxer from Pishin, passed away after being punched on the face by a rival boxer during an event.
Feb. 01: The National Assembly passed three bills, including the one seeking establishment of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority.
Feb. 02: All the 47 independent power producers, who had signed MOUs in August 2020 paving way for discounted tariff of Rs836 billion in the next 10-12 years, initialed legally-binding Master Agreements.
Feb. 02: PMIK launched vaccination against the deadly coronavirus, initially for health workers.
Feb. 03: Rejecting the federal government’s policy to introduce four-year degree programmes in Pakistan, the Sindh government decided to continue all the existing two-year degree programmes being offered in the province.
Feb. 03: Pakistan conducted a successful training launch of surface-to-surface ballistic missile Ghaznavi, capable of delivering nuclear and conventional warheads up to a range of 290 kilometres.
Feb. 03: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan have approved a roadmap for the Mazar-i-Sharif-Kabul-Peshawar railway line that will open up broad prospects for international trade, economic development cooperation and the connection of Central Asia to South Asia via Afghanistan.
Feb. 03: Lahore was declared the ‘city of literature’ the first place in the country to have been conferred the title by Unesco.
Feb. 04: Wapda won the team events of men and women in the 58th National Badminton Championships.
Feb. 05: Pakistan’s exports crossed $2 billion mark four months running for the first time in the last eight years.
Feb. 05: The Punjab and Gilgit-Baltistan governments signed an MoU to develop the CM Complaint Management System, a web portal and task management system for Gilgit-Baltistan.
Feb. 06: The government promulgated the Elections (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021, envisaging the conduct of Senate elections through open and identifiable ballot and enabling the party head to furnish request to see the vote.
Feb. 06: Pakistan’s Ahmed Mujtaba a.k.a. Wolverine defeated India’s Rahul Raju a.k.a. The Kerala Krusher in only 56 seconds in the first round of the mixed martial arts competition ONE Championship at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Feb. 06: Pakistan moved three places up on the Democracy Index-2020 released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
Feb. 07: Shabbir Iqbal annexed the 40th Chief of Air Staff Open Golf Championship.
Feb. 07: Imran Maniar was appointed the new Managing Director of Sui Southern Gas Company.
Feb. 08: Lawyers went on the rampage at the Islamabad Judicial Complex following demolition of their ‘illegal’ chambers.
Feb. 08: Pakistan ended almost 18 years of wait to win a Test series against South Africa.
Feb. 08: The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China donated Covid-19 vaccine for Pakistan Armed Forces.
Feb. 09: The opening ceremony of Pakistan-Turkish joint military exercise “ATATURK-XI” 2021, was held at Special Service Headquarters, Tarbela.
Feb. 09: The 239th Corps Commanders’ Conference was held at the General Headquarters, chaired by COAS General Bajwa.
Feb. 09: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Human Rights Sultan Mohammad Khan resigned.
Feb. 09: The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications (MoITT) and its tech innovation arm Ignite (National Technology Fund) launched Pakistan’s first national investment platform called PakImpactInvest, opening up new investment avenues.
Feb. 10: The Supreme Court has ruled that a condemned prisoner if found, due to mental illness, unable to comprehend the reasons behind his/her punishment qualifies for an exemption from the execution of death sentence.
Feb. 10: Punjab Minister for Special Education Chaudhry Muhammad Akhlaq laid the foundation stone of the boundary wall of Special Children’s Village in Sharaqpur Sharif.
Feb. 10: The government broke the monopoly of five already existing religious boards by creating five new ones.
These five additional ‘wafaq’ or educational boards for religious seminaries are:
1. Ittehad-ul-Madaris Al-Arabia Pakistan (for Deoband school of thought)
2. Ittehad Madaris Al-Islamia Pakistan (for Ahle Hadith)
3. Nizamul Madaris Pakistan (for Barelvi)
4. Wafaqu1 Madaris Al-Islamia Al-Rizvia Pakistan (for Barelvi)
5. Majmaul Madaris Taleemul Kitab Wal Hikmat (for Shia)
Feb. 11: Pakistan achieved the fastest internet data rate with download speeds reaching 1.685 gigabits per second during a 5G trial.
Feb. 11: Pakistan conducted a successful training launch of Babur Cruise Missile, having a range of 450 kilometres with capability of engaging targets at land and sea with high precision.
Feb. 11: The Afkar-e-Taza ThinkFest Online 2021 started.
Feb. 11: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Gulzar Ahmed asked Justice Qazi Faez Isa not to hear cases involving the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Feb. 12: PMIK launched the countrywide spring tree plantation drive in the Miyawaki Urban Forest at Jilani Park, Lahore.
Feb. 12: Pope Francis appointed Bishop Benny Mario Travas of Multan the new archbishop in the Archdiocese of Karachi, Pakistan.
Feb. 12: The seventh edition of Pakistan’s multinational naval exercise AMAN 21, with over 45 countries, 135 delegates, naval and military observers, 13 ships and destroyers, six teams of special operation forces and teams of explosive ordnance disposal with a number of aerial fixed wing and rotary wing assets to participate in the biannual drills to hone and harness response, tactics, techniques and procedures against multitude of asymmetric and non-traditional threats lurking in the maritime domain, started in Karachi.
Feb. 12: The International Development Committee (IDC) of the British Parliament re-launched an inquiry to assess the effectiveness of its government’s development policy towards the country and investigate the £302 million aid given to Pakistan by the United Kingdom.
Feb. 12: Drap issued emergency use authorisation to the Chinese company Cansino Biologics Inc’s Covid-19 vaccine.
Feb. 13: The inaugural session of 9th International Maritime Conference was held at Karachi.
Feb. 14: Pakistan won the the three-match T20I series 2-1 against South Africa.
Feb. 14: Umar Khokher won the 3rd Chairman WAPDA Amateur Golf title.
Feb. 14: Sahibzada Sultan Muhammad retained his supremacy by winning the 16th Cholistan Jeep Rally at Derawar Fort.
Ø Former champion Nadir Magsi captured the second position by covering the distance in three hours, 22 minutes and 39 seconds while Jaffar Magsi finished third.
Ø In Category B, Owais Khawkwani clinched the firstposition, Noman Saranjam second and Asad Shadikhel third.
In Category C, Syed Zaheer Shah, Mahmood Majeed Chaudhury and Gohar Sangi were the top three racers, respectively.
Ø In women’s category, Salma Marwat won the race, Tushna Patel finished second and Mahem third.
Ø Mueen Khan won the dirt bike race.
Feb. 15: Pakistani student Zara Naeem topped the financial reporting exam given by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
Zara was declared a global prize-winner after she secured the highest marks in the exam conducted in December 2020.
Feb. 15: The chairman Senate accepted the resignation of ANP member Sitara Ayaz.
Feb. 15: The army chief witnessed the training exercise, Jidarul Hadeed, at training area in Thar Desert near Chhor.
1. Pakistan and China established diplomatic relations on 21 May______.
(a) 1950 (b) 1951
(c) 1954 (d) 1963
2. On Jan. 16. ______ became the first coronavirus vaccine to get the green light for use in Pakistan.
(a) Covishield (b) BNT162b2
(c) AZD1222 (d) mRNA-1273
3. The AZD1222 Covid-19 vaccine has been developed by ______.
(c) SinoVac (d) Moderna
4. On Jan. 16, US President-elect Joe Biden inducted a second Pakistani American, ______, into his foreign policy team.
(a) Salman Ahmed (b) Ali Zaidi
(c) Aisha Shah (d) Saima Mohsin
5. The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan approved Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by Chinese state-owned firm Sinopharm on ______.
(a) Jan. 17 (b) Jan. 18
(c) Jan. 19 (d) Jan. 20
6. The Chief Executive Officer of the Balochistan Board of Investment and Trade is ______.
(a) Sarfraz Bugti (b) Jam Kamal
(c) Azhar Mashwani (d) Farman Zarkoon
7. On Jan. 18, the Pakistan Army was ranked the ______ most powerful in the world out of 133 countries on the Global Firepower Index 2021.
(a) 10th (b) 11th
(c) 12th (d) 15th
8. On Jan. 19, the Government of Pakistan appointed Afzaal Mahmood the new ambassador to ______.
(a) UAE (b) China
(c) Saudi Arabia (d) Afghanistan
9. The current Inspector General of Balochistan police is ______.
(a) M. Tahir Rai (b) Mohsin Hassan
(c) Muazam Khan (d) Arif Nawaz
10. Lt Gen (retd) Bilal Akbar is Pakistan’s ambassador to ______.
(a) Qatar (b) Russia
(c) Saudi Arabia (d) Afghanistan
11. ______ has succeeded Firdous Shamim Naqvi as Sindh Assembly’s opposition leader.
(a) Shahar Yar Khan Shar
(b) Rabia Azfar Nizami
(c) Khurram Sher Zaman
(d) Haleem Adil Shaikh
12. On Jan. 20, Pakistan conducted successful flight test of ______ surface-to-surface ballistic missile, having a range of 2,750 kilometres.
(a) Babur-1A (b) Shaheen-III
(c) Raad (d) Ghaznavi
13. On ______, the president promulgated Income Tax Amendment Ordinance, 2021, for extending the deadline for availing tax amnesty scheme for the construction sector.
(a) Jan. 21 (b) Jan. 22
(c) Jan. 23 (d) Jan. 24
14. On Jan. 23, the government allowed the import and distribution of the ______-developed Covid vaccine Sputnik V.
(a) Russia (b) UK
(c) Turkey (d) India
15. On Jan. 24, a new report titled ‘Groundwater in Pakistan’s Indus Basin: Present and Future Prospects’ was released by ______.
(a) WEF (d) World Bank
(c) PCRWR (d) ADB
16. On Jan. 25, PMIK, in his address to the 4th session of ______, presented a five-point agenda to address structural barriers in global prosperity.
(a) UNDP (b) UNCTAD
(c) UNEP (d) WEF
17. The record for scoring highest number of List A centuries in Pakistan is held by ______, with 27 tons.
(a) Saeed Anwar (b) Khurram Manzoor
(c) Javed Miandad (d) Imran Khan
18. The name of Dr Rehan Azmi, who passed away on Jan. 26, was included in the Guinness Book of World Records as one of the most prolific poets in ______.
(a) 1990 (b) 1995
(c) 1998 (d) 1997
19. On Jan. 27, Pakistan and Islamic Development Bank inaugurated 113-kilometre power transmission lines on the former’s border along ______.
(a) China (b) Iran
(c) Afghanistan (d) None of these
20. On Jan. 27, the ______ announced a new five-year loan program, estimated at approximately $10 billion, for Pakistan to help in expanding economic opportunities in the country.
(a) World Bank (b) ADB
(c) IMF (d) IDB
21. On Jan. 27, the ______ announced to provide $4.57 million grant to procure essential oral polio vaccine as part of its continued support to Pakistan for polio eradication.
(a) WHO (b) Japan
(c) United States (d) Russia
22. On ______, the Ministry of Human Rights set up Pakistan’s first Human Rights Information Resource Portal.
(a) Jan. 26 (b) Jan. 27
(c) Jan. 28 (d) Jan. 29
23. Pakistan has developed its first Human Rights Information Resource Portal in partnership with the ______ in Pakistan.
(a) HRW (b) UNDP
(c) OHCHR (d) European Union
24. Veteran leader of JI, parliamentarian, labour leader and students’ leader, Hafiz Salman Butt, died on ______.
(a) Jan. 28 (b) Jan. 29
(c) Jan. 30 (d) Jan. 31
25. Pakistan’s ranking on Corruption Perceptions Index 2020 is ______ in comparison to 120th position in 2019.
(a) 122nd (b) 124th
(c) 125th (d) 127th
26. Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2020 has been released by ______-based Transparency International.
(a) Paris (b) London
(c) Berlin (d) Geneva
27. On Jan. 28, the chief of ______, Mangal Bagh, who was wanted to Pakistan for attacks on security forces, was killed in Afghanistan.
(b) Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan
(c) Fedayeen al-Islam
(d) Ansar Al-Mujahideen
28. On Jan. 29, Pakistan’s towering philanthropist and humanitarian ______ was declared the ‘Person of the Decade’.
(a) Bilquis Edhi (b) Faisal Edhi
(c) Ansar Barni (d) Sarim Barni
29. On Jan. 30, Pakistan Navy received the second of four advanced warships of Type-054 Class Frigate constructed for Pakistan Navy in ______.
(a) China (b) Turkey
(c) Russia (d) France
30. On Jan. 31, ______ clinched the Pakistan Cup One-day Tournament 2020-21.
(a) Sindh (b) KP
(c) PIA (d) Punjab
31. Pakistan’s first-ever forest monitoring system, National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS), was launched on ______.
(a) Jan. 30 (b) Jan. 31
(c) Feb. 01 (d) Feb. 02
32. On Feb. 02, PMIK launched vaccination against the deadly coronavirus, initially for health workers, in ______.
(a) Quetta (b) Islamabad
(c) Lahore (d) Karachi
33. On Feb. 03, Pakistan conducted a successful training launch of surface-to-surface ballistic missile ______ that is capable of delivering nuclear and conventional warheads up to a range of 290 kilometres.
(a) Babur-1A (b) Shaheen-III
(c) Raad (d) Ghaznavi
34. On Feb. 03, Pakistan, Afghanistan and ______ approved a roadmap for the Mazar-i-Sharif-Kabul-Peshawar railway line.
(a) United States (b) China
(c) Iran (d) Uzbekistan
35. On Feb. 03, ______ was declared the ‘City of Literature’, becoming the first place in Pakistan to have been conferred the title by Unesco.
(a) Lahore (b) Karachi
(c) Hyderabad (d) Multan
36. On Feb. 09, the opening ceremony of Pakistan-Turkish joint military exercise “ATATURK-XI” 2021, was held at Special Service Headquarters in ______.
(a) Jhelum (b) Gujrat
(c) Tarbela (d) Rawalpindi
37. The seventh edition of Pakistan’s multinational naval exercise AMAN 21 concluded on ——.
(a) Feb 13 (b) Feb 14
(c) Feb 15 (d) Feb 16
38. The 9th International Maritime Conference was held at ______.
(a) Islamabad (b) Quetta
(c) Gwadar (d) Karachi
39. On Feb. 14, ______ emerged as the winner of the 16th Cholistan Jeep Rally held at Derawar Fort.
(a) Sahibzada Sultan Muhammad
(b) Noman Saranjam
(c) Nadir Magsi (d) Zaheer Shah
40. Pak Army’s training exercise at training area in Thar Desert near Chhor was named ______
(a) Shamsheer (b) Zarb-e-Haq
(c) Azm-e-Taza (d) Jidarul Hadeed
1. The two-day military exercise, Great Prophet 15, was recently conducted by ______
(a) Iran (b) Saudi Arabia
(c) Qatar (d) Turkey
2. On Jan. 16, a team of ______ climbers made history after becoming the first to summit K2, the world’s second highest mountain, in winter.
(a) Swiss (b) Nepalese
(c) Japanese (d) Bhutanese
3. On Jan. 16, Fiat Chrysler and PSA sealed their long-awaited merger to create ______, the world’s fourth-largest auto group.
(a) Citroen (b) Stellantis
(c) Vauxhall (d) Abarth
4. On Jan. 16, ______ Hugues Fabrice Zango set a new world indoor triple jump record, leaping 18.07 metres, the first 18m-plus jump achieved indoors.
(a) Burkina Faso’s (b) Estonia’s
(c) Kenya’s (d) Jamaica’s
5. On ______, US President Donald Trump signed “The Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Bill” into law.
(a) Jan. 16 (b) Jan. 17
(c) Jan. 18 (d) Jan. 19
6. The world’s biggest smartphone and memory chip-maker is ______.
(a) Qualcomm (b) SK Hynix
(c) Samsung (d) STMicro
7. On Jan. 18, Lee Jae-yong, vice-chairman of ______ was convicted for two and a half years over a huge corruption scandal.
(a) Samsung (b) Nokia
(a) Apple (d) Motorolla
8. The first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the US Senate is ______.
(a) Rachel Levine (b) Tom Wolf
(c) Pete Buttigieg (d) Denise Juneau
9. On Jan. 20, Joe Biden became the ______ and the oldest president of the United States.
(a) 45th (b) 46th
(c) 47th (d) 48th
10. The mother of the 49th US Vice President, Kamala Devi Harris, was Shyamala Gopalan from India while her father Donald J. Harris was from ______.
(a) England (b) New Zealand
(c) Jamaica (d) South Africa
11. Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons entered into force on ______.
(a) Jan. 20 (b) Jan. 22
© Jan. 24 (d) Jan. 26
12. On Jan. 22, the US Senate confirmed retired general Lloyd Austin as secretary of defence, becoming the ______ African American to lead the Department of Defense.
(a) First (b) Second
(c) Third (d) Fourth
13. On ______, Larry King, who quizzed thousands of world leaders in a career spanning more than six decades, died.
(a) Jan. 22 (b) Jan. 23
(c) Jan. 24 (d) Jan. 25
14. On Jan. 23, England pacer ______ became the second fast bowler after the great Richard Hadlee to take 30 fifers in Test cricket.
(a) Tom Curran (b) James Anderson
(c) Jack Leach (d) Stuart Broad
15. On Jan. 24, the ______ approved the establishment of its first embassy in Israel.
(a) Bahrain (b) UAE
(c) Sudan (d) Kosovo
16. On ______, President Joe Biden overturned ban on transgender people serving in the military.
(a) Jan. 23 (b) Jan. 24
(c) Jan. 25 (d) Jan. 26
17. On Jan. 25, Kaja Kallas became ______ first female prime minister.
(a) Estonia’s (b) France’s
(c) Belgium’s (d) Norway’s
18. On Jan. 26, the US Senate confirmed Antony Blinken as the ______ US Secretary of State.
(a) 69th (b) 71st
(b) 75th (c) 98th
19. India celebrates its Republic Day on ______.
(a) Jan. 25 (b) Jan. 26
(c) Jan. 27 (d) Jan. 28
20. The State Duma is the lower house of ______ parliament.
(a) Russian (b) Swiss
(c) Japanese (d) Norwegian
21. The New START is the last remaining arms-reduction treaty between Russia and ______.
(a) Germany (b) China
(c) USA (d) France
22. On Jan. 27, Biden administration temporarily froze for review a massive package of F-35 jets to the UAE and arms to ______.
(a) Turkey (b) Yemen
(c) Saudi Arabia (d) Qatar
23. Denmark and ______ have topped the Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2020.
(a) Finland (b) Norway
(c) Iceland (d) New Zealand
24. ______ Toyota reclaimed the title of world’s top-selling automaker in 2020.
(a) Malaysia’s (b) France’s
(c) Japan’s (d) Germany’s
25. On Feb. 01, ______ launched a carbon-trading system designed to drive down emissions, as it takes steps towards decarbonising its economy by 2060.
(a) China (b) USA
(c) India (d) Japan
26. On Feb. 01, Israel and ______ established diplomatic ties, with the Muslim-majority territory recognising al-Quds as the Jewish state’s capital.
(a) Bahrain (b) UAE
(c) Sudan (d) Kosovo
27. On ______, Myanmar’s military seized power in a bloodless coup and imposed a one-year state of emergency.
(a) Jan. 30 (b) Jan. 31
(c) Feb. 01 (d) Feb. 02
28. On Feb. 02, ______ became the first team to qualify for the inaugural ICC World Test Championship final.
(a) New Zealand (b) Australia
(c) England (d) India
29. On Feb. 02, ______ pulled out of an agreement with Japan and India to develop a deep-sea container terminal viewed as an effort to counter China’s growing influence in the region.
(a) Myanmar (b) Iran
(c) Sri Lanka (d) Maldives
30. On Feb. 03, Alexei Navalny, the most prominent opposition leader in ______, was jailed for nearly three years.
(a) Russia (b) Poland
(c) Belarus (d) Ukraine
31. On Feb. 05, Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company announced to adapt British-Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid’s novel ______ into a film.
(a) Exit West (b) Moth Smoke
(c) Discontent and Its Civilizations
(d) The Reluctant Fundamentalist
32. On Feb. 06, England’s ______ became the first batsman to smash a double hundred in his 100th Test.
(a) Eoin Morgan (b) Jonny Bairstow
(c) Joe Root (d) Jason Roy
33. On ______, the International Criminal Court ruled that it had jurisdiction over the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, paving the way for the tribunal to open a war crimes investigation against Israel.
(a) Feb. 05 (b) Feb. 06
(c) Feb. 07 (d) Feb. 08
34. The International Criminal Court is an intergovernmental organization and international tribunal that sits in ______.
(a) New York (b) The Hague
(c) Geneva (d) Paris
35. The first state in the United States to proclaim February 5 as Kashmir Day is ______.
(a) Philadelphia (b) Chicago
(c) New York (d) North Carolina
36. Martin Griffiths is the United Nations special envoy on______.
(a) Iraq (b) Yemen
(c) Afghanistan (d) Qatar
37. On Feb. 09, ______ Mars probe successfully entered the Martian orbit.
(a) US’s (b) China’s
(c) UAE’s (d) India’s
38. On______, India reached an agreement with China for both to pull back from part of their contested Himalayan border.
(a) Feb. 09 (b) Feb. 10
(c) Feb. 11 (d) Feb. 12
39. On Feb. 13, former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi was formally sworn in as the new prime minister of ______.
(a) Belgium (b) Vietnam
(c) Estonia (d) Italy
40. On Feb. 13, ______ lawyer Karim Khan was elected as the next prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
(a) British (b) Egyptian
(c) Indian (d) Pakistani