VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: 2nd April, 2018

Balochistan CM urges estranged leaders to return home: Dawn
April 02, 2018

Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo has urged the self-exiled and disgruntled Baloch leaders to come back to the country to play their role in the development of the province. Speaking at a condolence reference for late journalist Siddiq Baloch, which was organised by the Balochi Adabi Academy on Sunday evening at the Quetta Press Club, Mr Bizenjo said it was time to eliminate hatred and bring people closer to each other. He claimed that he and his colleagues had jointly brought about political change in Balochistan in the larger interest of its people who were facing problems that had been ignored by the previous government and its coalition partners. Click here to read...

Diamer-Basha Dam: Over 14,000 acre land transferred to Water and Power Development Authority: Dawn
April 02, 2018

A chunk of land measuring 14,325 acres (114,601 kanals) of the total 18357 acres of private land has been transferred finally to the Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda), paving way for the authorities to move forward for the execution of the 4,500MW Diamer Basha Dam project. Its location is 40 km downstream of Chilas, the district headquarters of Diamer in Gilgit Baltistan. It will displace 30,350 people living in 4,266 households of 32 villages, situated above the dam site on both left and right banks of river Indus. Total land required for the project is 37,419 acres which included 19,062 acres of state and 18,357 acres of private land under cultivation, barren and other uses. A sizeable number of government, community and business infrastructures will be affected by the project. Click here to read...

Pakistan PM’s Visit Start Of Talks: Government: Tolo News
April 01, 2018

Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s trip to Kabul will mark the start of state-to-start talks, Afghan authorities said on Sunday. Abbasi is likely to visit Afghanistan on Friday and is expected to hold talks with Afghan officials on areas of mutual interest including security, war against terrorism, peace talks with the Taliban and on further expansion of bilateral relations in economic and political sectors. According to reports, Abbasi will hold talks with the Afghan leadership and military officials and will appear at a joint press conference with President Ashraf Ghani. “The meeting will mark the start of state to state talks, peace, security, economic relations will dominate the agenda at the talks,” said the CEO’s deputy spokesman Jawed Faisal. Click here to read...

PM Oli’s visit aims to ‘redefine’ Nepal-India ties: Kathmandu Post

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s upcoming visit to India is aimed at redefining and resetting the Nepal-India relations that took a dip after New Delhi imposed a border blockade on Nepal after promulgation of the new constitution in 2015, Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali said on Sunday. In a meeting with a select group of journalists, Gyawali said the April 6-8 visit would focus on building trust with the Indian political leadership. He also hinted that no significant deals would be signed during the PM’s visit but as a good gesture, India might offer something to Nepal even as the details were yet to be known. PM Oli is embarking on a three-day state visit to India, leading a five dozen-strong delegation, in his first foreign tour after taking office in February. Some ministers, officials, businessmen, parliamentarians and media persons will accompany the PM on the occasion. The primary aim of the visit is said to be to deepen ties, build trust, open up new vistas of cooperation, and to pave a future course of bilateral relations and more economic engagements between Nepal and India. Unlike during previous visits by Nepal’s prime ministers, officials privy to the developments said, political and constitutional issues of Nepal would not be on the agenda this time. Click here to read...

Bangladesh begins relocating Rohingya before monsoon: Channel News Asia
April 01, 2018

Bangladesh has begun relocating 100,000 Rohingya refugees to safer ground before the monsoon season for fear of deadly landslides and floods in the congested camps, an official said Sunday (Apr 1). The UN says about 150,000 refugees in Bangladesh's southeast - where nearly one million Rohingya in total live in shanties on hillsides - are extremely vulnerable to disease and disaster this rainy season. Humanitarian groups have been racing to reinforce the basic shelters erected hastily by the Rohingya as they fled across the border after a fierce army crackdown on the community in western Myanmar. Nearly 700,000 refugees have crossed the border since August into the Cox's Bazar region, clearing trees and packing whole hillsides with unstable shanties. Bangladesh's refugee commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam said 100,000 refugees living in "priority" areas most at risk from floods and landslides would be relocated before June. "We have already shifted some 10,000 refugees from different locations to safer settlement”, he said. Click here to read...

New Myanmar president aims to amend military-written constitution: Mizzima
March 31, 2018

Myanmar's new president promised to look at the country's military-written constitution, corruption and human rights in his inaugural speech Friday, challenging a charter that bans Aung San Suu Kyi from top office and gives the military major powers. Win Myint, a 66-year-old former political prisoner and staunch ally of Suu Kyi, was elected president on Wednesday after his predecessor Htin Kyaw suddenly resigned. Newly elected President Win Myint said in his inaugural address that he would closely watch and supervise government and departmental staffs and also he would straighten up judicial and legislature. Click here to read...

Pakistan army chief pays courtesy call on President Yameen: Haveeru
March 31, 2018

President Abdulla Yameen on Sunday said that he hopes that the bilateral relationship between Maldives and Pakistan will strengthen over time. Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa paid a courtesy call on the president in his office. During this meeting the president highlighted the support and aid Pakistan has given for the development of Maldives. He expressed hope and confidence that both the countries will be able to work together and overcome the similar international concerns. President Yameen stated that he would work to strengthen the friendship and corporation between the countries. General Bajwa said that Pakistan and Maldives are brothers of the same faith. He added that he hoped both countries will continue to work together to extend the friendship further. Click here to read...

Xi-Kim meeting affirms China's role in peace initiative: People's Daily
April 02, 2018

Last week's meeting between President Xi Jinping and Kim Jong-un, the top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, indicates China is playing an essential role in the settlement of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, according to several US analysts. Click here to read...

Tiangong I re-enters the atmosphere this morning: China Daily
April 02, 2018

China's first space lab, Tiangong I, re-entered the Earth's atmosphere at 8:15 am and later fell into the central part of the South Pacific Ocean, according to the China Manned Space Agency. During the re-entry process, most of the spacecraft's body burnt out, it said in a statement. Click here to read...

Xiongan New Area's green blueprint: People's Daily
April 02, 2018

On a sunny, warm spring morning, a heavy truck carrying tree seedlings slowly comes to stop. A dibble machine leaves a line of tree holes, as workers get ready to plant trees in the soil. It is a forestation site in Xiongxian County, part of the Xiongan New Area, a new economic zone about 100 kilometers southwest of Beijing. It is the third new area of national significance after the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone and the Shanghai Pudong New Area. Click here to read...

China imposes tariff on 128 items of U.S. imports: People's Daily
April 02, 2018

China suspended tariff concessions on 128 items of U.S. products including pork and fruits starting Monday, according to the Ministry of Finance. The Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council has decided to impose a tariff of 15 percent on 120 items of products imported from the United States including fruits and related products, and a tariff of 25 percent on eight items of imports including pork and related products from the country, according to a statement posted on the ministry website. Click here to read...

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