January 15, 2022
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INTERNATIONAL - EAST
Major updates from India’s neighbourhood and the east.
Good morning. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Defence Minister Pervez Khattak had a heated exchange of words when the latter said he would not vote for him and complained about the neglect of the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province by the govt, according to a media report on Friday and more...
Neglect of province: Khan, defence minister differ
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One-liner: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Defence Minister Pervez Khattak had a heated exchange of words when the latter said he would not vote for him and complained about the neglect of the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province by the govt, according to a media report on Friday.

Zoom in: The incident occurred on Thursday during a meeting of the parliamentary party of the ruling alliance, presided over by Prime Minister Khan, at the Parliament House, the Dawn newspaper reported.

  • The defence minister, while attending the meeting to clarify a controversial Supplementary Finance Bill-2022, commonly called mini-budget, reportedly said that he would not vote for prime minister Khan if new gas connections were not given to the people of the less developed province

Don't blackmail: Khattak was elected to the National Assembly from Nowshera-I of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province.

N Korea fires missile in 3rd launch this month
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One-liner: Officials in South Korea and Japan said, North Korea on Friday fired at least one possible ballistic missile in its third weapons launch this month.

S Korea and Japan: South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the weapon was fired toward the east but did not say where it landed or provide other details.

  • Japan’s Prime Minister’s Office also said they detected the N.Korean launch, possibly a ballistic missile

Imposed sanctions: On Wednesday, the Biden administration imposed sanctions on five N.Koreans over their roles in obtaining equipment and technology for the North’s missile programs in it’s response. It also said it would seek new UN sanctions.

Potential nuclear-capable missiles: The announcement by the Treasury Department came just hours after leader Kim Jong Un saw a successful test of a hypersonic missile on Tuesday.

Millions of Afghans are on verge of death: UN
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One-liner: The UN chief warned on Thursday that millions of Afghans are on the “verge of death," urging the international community to fund the UN's $5bn humanitarian appeals, release Afghanistan's frozen assets and jump-start its banking system to avert economic and social collapse.

Taliban's power: Afghanistan's aid-dependent economy was already stumbling when the Taliban seized power in mid-Aug amid the chaotic departure of US and NATO troops after 20 years.

  • The international community froze Afghanistan's assets abroad and halted economic support, unwilling to work with the Taliban, given their reputation for brutality during their 1996-2001 rule and refusal to educate girls and not allow women to work

Many starving: The UN says 8.7 million Afghans are on the brink of starvation and Guterres said it's critical to rapidly inject liquidity into the Afghan economy “and avoid a meltdown that would lead to poverty, hunger and destitution for millions.”

Pak PM unveils first-ever National Security Policy
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Illustration: Anushka Thapa

One-liner: Pakistan PM Imran Khan on Friday launched the first-ever National Security Policy, which articulates a citizen-centric framework, placing economic security at its core.

Previous govt blamed: PM Khan said that the previous govt had failed to strengthen Pakistan’s economy. Khan said since its evolution has had a one-dimensional security policy where the focus was on the military.

  • The national security has been clearly explained in the new original 100-page document

Attaining the goals: The 5 years policy document covering a period between 2022-26, is being propped up by the Khan govt as the first-ever strategy paper of its kind that covers the national security vision and guidelines for the attainment of those goals.

Themes of the policy: The main themes of the National Security Policy are national cohesion, securing an economic future, defence and territorial integrity, internal security, foreign policy in a changing world and human security.

East essentials
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Iraqi officials: 4 rockets target US Embassy in Baghdad

  • At least four rockets targeted the US Embassy in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone on Thursday, two Iraqi security officials said
  • The area is home to diplomatic missions and the seat of Iraq's govt,   Three of the missiles struck within the perimeter of the American Embassy, the officials said. Another hit a school located in a nearby residential complex

Pak to hold fresh population, housing census

  • Pakistan has decided to hold a fresh population and housing Census using international best practices and digital technology after differences over the results of the previous 2017 Census
  • The Council of Common Interests (CCI) approved the conduct of the 7th Population & Housing Census and the establishment of the ‘Census Monitoring Committee' during its 49th meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday, according to a statement by the prime minister's office\

Indonesia's restructuring of science sector faces criticism

  • Indonesia's govt is facing criticism from some top scientists and lawmakers that a sweeping restructuring bringing together the country's leading science and technology institutes could undermine research efforts
  • The policy will see half a dozen science, technology and research institutes integrated into a National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), a move the govt hopes will improve access to resources and funding, and boost competitiveness