VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: 6th April, 2018


Islamabad, Kabul trade charges ahead of Abbasi’s visit: Dawn
April 06, 2018

Pakistan on Thursday rejected the Afghan allegations that its air force had violated its airspace and carried out raids inside Afghan territory. “Pakistani security forces are undertaking counter-terrorism operations in Bajaur Agency directed against terrorist groups who continue to attack Pakistan from their sanctuaries based on Afghan soil that have resulted in loss of lives and injuries on the Pakistani side,” Foreign Office Spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal tweeted after Kabul alleged that Pakistan had conducted air strikes in the Afghan province of Kunar causing “huge financial damage”. Click here to read...


Envoy Expects Abbasi’s Visit to Open New Chapter: Tolo News
April 06, 2018

Pakistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan Zahid Nasrullah Khan has expressed hope that Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s visit to Kabul will open a new chapter in ties between the two countries. Abbasi is expected to arrive in Kabul on Friday on an official one-day visit following an invitation by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. He is expected to hold discussions with Ghani and with CEO Abdullah Abdullah, along with a number of other political leaders. Afghan government officials have said Afghan leaders will meet with Abbasi and are expected to once again call for honest cooperation by Pakistan to be demonstrated in the fight against terrorism. Click here to read...


Nepal, India to sign at least three agreements
April 06, 2018

Aiming to reset ties with the southern neighbour, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli is embarking on Friday on a three-day state visit to India, where he is expected to sign at least three agreements. As of Thursday, three pacts related to agriculture research and development and education and training, exploring the possibility of inland water navigation up to Indian ports from Nepal as an alternative to connectivity, and expansion of the Indian rail up to Kathmandu have been agreed between the two sides.

According to officials, the existing trade and transit treaty between the two countries needs revision to realise the waterway plan.

Other issues that the PM will take up in New Delhi are early execution of the India-funded projects in Nepal, implementation of the Mahakali Treaty, laying the Motihari-Amlekhgunj pipeline, and clearance of pending line of credit for earthquake reconstruction. The issue of defence purchases, Tarai roads, trade deficit with India, additional four air routes with India, construction of integrated check posts on Nepal-India border, and exchange of banned Indian currency notes are also on the agenda of delegation-level talks.

Officials said issues like cooperation in power and energy sectors, cross-border connectivity, construction of transmission lines, compensation for Nepalis affected by the Koshi and Gandak rivers, inundation and flood control, and energy banking will also figure in official talks. Click here to read...

Exim bank extends $4.5 billion loan to Bangladesh: The Pioneer
April 06, 2018
The Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) will give loans worth about Rs 29,200 crore (USD 4.5 billion) to Bangladesh for financing of various social and infrastructure projects. The Exim Bank entered into an agreement with the Bangladesh government on October 4, 2017 to extend this line of credit facility on behalf of the Indian government, the RBI said in a notification. Bangladesh will also use this financing facility to import consultancy services from India. Under the arrangement, financing export of eligible goods and services from India would be allowed which are eligible for export under the Foreign Trade Policy of the Government of India and whose purchase may be agreed to be financed by the Exim Bank under this agreement, the RBI said. Click here to read...

Groups in Myanmar Fire Back at Zuckerberg
April 05, 2018

Civil society groups in Myanmar on Thursday criticized Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, arguing that he mischaracterized his company’s effectiveness at detecting and quashing messages encouraging violence in the country. Taking aim at comments made by Mr. Zuckerberg in a recent interview, the groups said that Facebook had no consistent methods for dealing with hate speech in Myanmar. The same problems keep recurring, they said, with the company routinely failing to follow up on their comments and suggestions. Click here to read...


Chinese FM calls for joint efforts to protect global free trade system: Xinhuanet
April 06, 2018

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here on Thursday that the United States' protectionist trade policies will affect the development of the world trade and economy, and the international community should jointly boycott such moves of unilateralism to maintain the global economic growth. Click here to read...

Donald Trump mulls extra US$100 billion punitive tariffs on China imports: South China Morning Post
April 06, 2018

US President Donald Trump said his administration might levy punitive tariffs on an additional US$100 billion worth of Chinese imports, raising the stakes in tit-for-tat trade action Washington and Beijing are aiming at each other. Click here to read...

China launches dispute settlement procedure over U.S. Section 232 measures: Xinhuanet
April 05, 2018

China on Thursday filed a request for consultation under the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement framework with the United States regarding the U.S. Section 232 measures that slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said. Click here to read...

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