Pakistan Current Affairs

Pakistan to host 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad

Pakistan is going to host the 19th SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Summit in Islamabad (capital city) and Murree on November 9 and 10, 2016.

It will be the meeting of the head of states or head of government of the eight SAARC countries. Besides, nine observers of SAARC have also been invited to attend the Summit.

The 18th SAARC Summit was held in Kathmandu, Nepal in November 2014 with the theme Deeper Integration for Peace and Prosperity. It had focused on enhancing connectivity between the member states for easier transit-transport across the region

About the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)

  • SAARC is regional intergovernmental organization and geopolitical union in South Asia. It promotes development of economical and regional integration.
  • As of 2015, SAARC member countries compromise of 3% of the world’s area, 21% of the world’s population and 9.12% of the global economy.
  • Member Countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan (joined in 2007).
  • Nine observer states: Australia, China, European Union, Japan, Iran, Mauritius, Myanmar, South Korea, and United States.
  • Formation History: The idea for the SAARC was proposed by Ziaur Rahman, the then President of Bangladesh on May 2, 1980.
  • The seven founding countries had met for first time in April 1981 and then in 1985, they created SAARC Charter.
  • The first SAARC summit was held in Dhaka (Bangladesh) in December 1985. The SAARC Secretariat was established in Kathmandu (Nepal) on 16 January 1987.


First SAARC Youth Parliamentarians Conference begins in Islamabad

The first South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Youth Parliamentarians Conference on `Peace and Harmony for Development’ was held in Islamabad, Pakistan.

The two-day (from August 16 to 18, 2016) intends to offer young Parliamentarians’ narrative as a prelude to the 19th SAARC Summit to be hosted by Pakistan in November 2016.

Key Facts

  • 8 parliamentary delegates from 8 SAARC member countries are participating in the conference. Lok Sabha MP Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo, is leading the three member Indian delegation.
  • The conference was hosted by the Pakistan National Assembly and was inaugurated by National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq.
  • The goal of the conference is to build bridges between the future leaders of South Asia on a platform that supports continued engagement and cooperation.
  • It is dialogue among Young Parliamentarians of SAARC region to create democratic space to meet expanding expectations of burgeoning youth population in region.
  • It seeks to provide an opportunity for the youth and Parliamentarians to apprise respective Government leaders on where the youth of South Asia stands on a vision for the region ahead of the High Level Summit.
  • Besides, it also seeks to set the foundation of strong inter-parliamentary linkages between parliamentarians from across South Asia.
  • The linkages will be to setup a network that can nurture regional interaction, support democratic norms and build a coalition for sustained dialogue and peaceful cooperation.


Pakistan based Jamaat-ur-Ahrar designated a ‘terror group’

The United States declared Pakistan based Jamaat-ur-Ahrar (JuA) as a ‘terror group’ by adding it to its list of global terrorists.

This declaration triggers sanctions against the terrorist faction that has staged multiple attacks on civilians, religious minorities and soldiers.

Besides anyone who supports Jamaat-ur-Ahrar could have his assets frozen by the US Government.

About Jamaat-ur-Ahrar

  • JuA is a militant Sunni Islamic group. It is a splinter faction of the Pakistani Taliban movement. It has declared loyalty to Islamic State’s (IS).
  • The aim of Pakistani Taliban allied with Afghan Taliban is to topple the Pakistan Government.
  • It has claimed responsibility of 5 major attacks in Pakistan since December 2015, including the Easter Sunday bombing in a public park that killed 70 people in Lahore city.