VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: 4th April, 2018


UN terror list has 139 Pakistan entries: Dawn
April 04, 2018

The United Nations Security Council’s consolidated list of terrorist individuals and entities includes 139 entries from Pakistan. The list — updated and accessed on Tuesday — identifies all those individuals who have lived in Pakistan, operated from there or have been associated with groups that used Pakistani territory for carrying out their operations, from Al Qaeda’s Ayman al-Zawahiri to known Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) activists. The first person on the list is Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s heir apparent. The UN data claims that he is still hiding somewhere “in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area”. Several of his lieutenants are also on the list who, the UN believes, are hiding with him. Click here to read...

Islamabad can play role for peace in Afghanistan, notes US: Dawn
April 04, 2018

United States Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells on Tuesday departed after completing a rather long seven-day trip to Pakistan emphasising the role Pakistan can play for peace in Afghanistan in partnership with the US. “In the aftermath of the Tashkent conference on Afghanistan, Ambassador Wells noted the growing international consensus on the way forward to achieving peace in Afghanistan and the meaningful role that Pakistan, partnering with the United States, could play in achieving a peaceful resolution in Afghanistan,” the US Embassy said in a statement. Ms Wells visited Pakistan from March 28 to April 3 touring Islamabad and Karachi. Click here to read...


Ghani Appoints Team to Probe Kunduz Airstrike: Tolo News
April 03, 2018

The Presidential Palace said on Tuesday afternoon President Ashraf Ghani has appointed a task team to probe Monday’s airstrike in Dasht-e-Archi amid conflicting reports of who the casualties were. “To illustrate the nature of the harm sustained to civilians in the incident, President Ghani has assigned a commission” to carry out a “broad-based investigation and report back about findings of their investigation to the national security council within a week,” read the statement. The task team will be headed up by Gen Khudaidad Hazara, the Inspector General of the National Security Council, and include presidential advisors Tahir Safai and Sayed Sulaiman Hamid. Also appointed to the task team are representatives from the ministry of defense, ministry of interior, National Directorate of Security, the attorney general’s office, and the independent directorate of local governance. The statement, which acknowledged reports of civilian casualties, pointed out that the protection of civilian lives and property were among the fundamental responsibilities of the Afghan government. Click here to read...


India visit to boost ties, says PM Oli: Himalayan Times
April 03, 2018

Stating that the starting point of Nepal’s foreign and neighbourhood policy was ‘friendship’, Oli said his India visit was also a part of the government’s endeavour to make neighbouring countries partners in Nepal’s development drive. “To realise our national goals of development and prosperity, we’ll maintain harmonious, balanced and friendly relations with our neighbours based on mutual benefit, mutual respect, equality, non-interference, UN charters, principles of non-aligned movement and the five principles of peaceful coexistence,” he said. Terming Nepal-India relations ‘age-old and multi-dimensional’, Oli said the government’s policy was to maintain a dependable friendship with India without any mistrust. Oli also made it clear that no new agreements would be signed just for the sake of it. “Rather than piling up new agreements and forgetting about them, we’ll focus on how to make tangible progress on past agreements and in areas of mutual cooperation,” said the PM. Click here to read...


India turns focus on Dhaka as Bangladesh gears up for elections: Times of India
April 04, 2018
With elections looming in Bangladesh, Dhaka has taken centre-stage in India's neighbourhood strategy. While national security adviser Ajit Doval travelled to Bangladesh last week to participate in a meeting of NSAs of the BIMSTEC group of countries, foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale will be in Dhaka on his first trip on April 9 to focus on bilateral relations. Doval, during his three-day visit to Dhaka, met officials and leaders from across the political spectrum besides calling on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. After two consecutive terms, the Awami League government is seen as facing significant anti-incumbency sentiment. In these years, India and Bangladesh have improved relations to an extent that Dhaka is now arguably New Delhi's closest strategic partner in this region, despite China increasing its presence in the country. Click here to read...


China vows reciprocal measures against US tariff proposals: People's daily
April 04, 2018

China strongly condemns and firmly opposes the US tariff proposals and is ready to take counter measures on US products, the Ministry of Commerce said Wednesday. A MOC spokesperson made the statement after the US government announced the proposed list of products subject to additional tariffs, which covers Chinese exports worth $50 billion with a suggested tariff rate of 25 percent. Click here to read...

Chinese president to address opening ceremony of 2018 Boao Forum: Xinhuanet
April 04, 2018

Chinese President Xi Jinping will deliver a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Tuesday. The forum, scheduled for April 8 to 11 in Boao, a town in the southern island province of Hainan, will have the theme "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity." Click here to read...

China, Zimbabwe agree to establish comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation: People's daily
April 04, 2018

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Zimbabwean counterpart Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday agreed to establish a comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation between their countries. The two heads of state reached the agreement during their talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Xi said the Zimbabwean people have started a new journey in building their country since Mnangagwa took office last November. Click here to read...

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