Current Affairs – April 2012 International Affairs
- The Supreme Court of Pakistan convicted Pakistan Prime Minister Yusuf Raja Gilani for contempt of court for refusing to reopen corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari. Gilani is the first Pakistan prime minister to be held guilty for contempt could have been jailed for six months but was awarded just a symbolic punishment of about 30 seconds.
- The Netherlands’ Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his Cabinet resigned on 23 April 2012 after failing to reach agreement on reducing the country’s budget to meet European guidelines. Rutte tendered his resignation to Queen Beatrix, the head of state.
- Pakistan on 25 April 2012 successfully test-fired an upgraded version of Shaheen-1 missile.The new upgraded Shaheen-1, with its even longer striking range and nuclear carrying capability, can hit its targets in India.
- A passenger aero plane crash near Islamabad in Pakistan on 20 April 2012 left more than 100 people dead. The tragic incident occurred while the airliner was attempting to land during a thunderstorm. The Bhoja airliner had been flying from the southern seaport city of Karachi and burst into flames right before its landing in the Islamabad. The crash occurred near the Chaklala airbase, a military site used by the country’s air force, which is adjacent to the Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad.
- A Powerful earthquake of 8.7 magnitude on the Richter scale hit Aceh province of Indonesia on 11 April 2012. A tsunami alert also has been given for much of the Indian Ocean. The earthquake’s epicentre was at a depth of 33 km about 485 km from Indonesia’s Banda Aceh, a region regularly hit by earthquakes.
- Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on 1 April 2012 won a parliamentary seat in a historic by-election. It set the stage for her to take public office for the first time. Her party National League for Democracy (NLD) won 43 seats. It will be the main opposition force in a national parliament where the political party backed by the military has the majority. She was released in late 2010 after she had been detained under house arrest by the military. She had won the Nobel peace prize in 1991.
- The Syrian government announced ceasefire against rebels on 12 April 2012. There would be no military operations against rebels. But the troops will remain on alert to thwart attack by armed groups against civilians and the security forces. The ceasefire will be effective throughout Syria.