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July 13, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. Over two million cases pending in courts across country
• The country`s superior and lower judiciaries are dealing with a huge backlog of 2.144 million cases as 4.102m cases were decided and 4.06m new cases were filed during 2021, it emerged on July 12, 2022.
• The overall pendency at the start of 2021 before all the courts was 2.16m.
• The Supreme Court, Federal Shariat Court and five high courts of the country disposed of 229,822 cases and 241,250 new cases were instituted during last year and pending cases stood at 389,549 before the superior courts on Dec 31 while the same tally was 378,216 on Jan 1, 2021
2. Reserves fall as external debt servicing rises
• Pakistan could face a serious problem as its foreign exchange reserves fast depleting amid rising external debt servicing.
• The country`s external debt servicing rose to $10.886 billion in the first three quarters of 2021-22 compared to $13.38bn in the entire FY21.
• It was just $1.653bn in 1QFY22 against $3.51bn in the first quarter of 2020-21. However, the debt servicing jumped to $4.357bn in 2QFY22 and further to $4.875bn in 3QFY22
• The country has been facing a serious threat from its external front as the State Bank of Pakistan`s foreign exchange reserves fell to single digits despite a $2.3bn inflow from China late last month.
3. Public right of way can`t be denied irrespective of revenue record: LHC
• The Lahore High Court has observed that even if a street or a passage is not a declared public street in the revenue record, a public passage could still come into existence following its use by the general public.
• And a district or a sub-divisional magistrate can invoke powers under section 133 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) for the removal of nuisance or blockade of a public thorough fare.
• Justice Muhammad Shan Gul has made these observations in a verdict issued on a petition challenging decision of two lower courts wherein an order of an area magistrate to restore and open a public passage for use of public was upheld
4. WHO calls for development of new vaccines to cope with AMR
• The World Health Organisation on July 12, 2022 released a report on the vaccines currently in development to prevent infections caused by antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) bacterial pathogens.
• WHO`s analysis points to the need to accelerate trials for AMR-related vaccines in the late-stage development and maximise the use of existing vaccines.
• The bacteria have internal intelligence due to which they change themselves according to the medicine and create resistance against the medicines. In the past, bacteria could be killed with low potency medicines but now for the same virus high potency medicines are required due to AMR
5. Participation of women in workforce greatly constrained: study
• Pointing out that women`s participation in the workforce is greatly constrained, a World Bank study says at 20 per cent, Pakistan`s workforce participation rate for women is one of the lowest both in South Asia and globally.
• Low education levels, mobility challenges and gender norms limit women from entering and being retained in the formal workforce, and consequently, a significant proportion of women workers are represented in the informal sector as home-based workers (HBWs), according to details of the study.
• Pakistan has 4.4 million HBWs, of whom 3.6m are women. These workers perform work for remuneration from their home or other premises of their choice, and they mainly operate as piece-rate or own-account workers involved in production and manufacturing chains to make products like textile articles, leather goods or raising livestock for agriculture and bi-products