VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: 23rd April, 2018
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PAKISTAN
PTM Lahore rally: Manzoor Pashteen announces to take grievances to Karachi on May 12: Dawn
April 23, 2018

The Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) rally at Lahore's Mochi Gate kicked off on Sunday as planned, despite Punjab government's refusal to issue a permit for the event. During the gathering it was announced that PTM will now hold a rally in Karachi on May 12 to condemn the violence that the city witnessed in 2007. PTM's central leader Ali Wazir said, "The movement has come to Lahore so that if something [untoward] happens in the future, nobody can say 'You never reached out to us'." Manzoor Pashteen then took to the stage, saying it was the PTM's "heartfelt wish" to present the situation hidden from the media and the eyes of the public to the people of Lahore. He explained why the PTM had included the arrest of Rao Anwar and recovery of missing persons in their demands. He said the whole country had seen the result of PTM's first demand: the arrest of former SSP Malir Rao Anwar. "Now even the court is saying Anwar is a terrorist and Waziristan native Naqeebullah Mehsud, who was shot dead in a police encounter, has been declared innocent." Click here to read...

Two-day event about CPEC objectives opens today: Dawn
April 23, 2018

The Dawn Media Group, in collaboration with the Ministry of Planning and Development, will host The CPEC Summit at Karachi’s Bagh-i-Jinnah on Monday and Tuesday (April 23 & 24). It’s one of the biggest events to be held in the country on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor aimed at educating the public about the objectives of CPEC and its umbrella project, the Belt and Road Initiative. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will be the chief guest on the opening day. Other prominent guests include Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, federal Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal and Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing. A symposium, “The dynamics of economy and finance”, will precede the inauguration ceremony. The discussion will feature, among others, former State Bank governor Ishrat Husain and former finance ministers Shaukat Tarin and Abdul Hafeez Shaikh. Click here to read...

AGHANISTAN
Afghanistan: Kabul voter centre suicide attack kills 57: BBC

A suicide bomb attack at a voter registration centre in the Afghan capital Kabul has killed at least 57 people, officials say. The dead include 21 women and five children, killed when the blast hit the queue outside. A further 119 people were injured. The Islamic State group (IS) said it had carried out the attack. Voter registration began this month for legislative elections which are due to take place in October. IS's mouthpiece said a suicide bomber wearing an explosive belt had targeted the centre, which is in the Dashte Barchi area of western Kabul. Click here to read...

NEPAL
Banner row at UML-Maoist event: Kathmandu Post
April 23, 2018

It was supposed to be a historic day. But it turned out to be a day of a missed deadline and a day new promises were made for yet another deadline.The CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre) had decided that the day marking the birth anniversary of the Soviet leader Lenin and the establishment of Nepal’s first communist party would also be the time for Nepal’s two largest communist parties to come together. It was not to be.Maoist cadres questioned the wisdom of putting up pictures of three communist leaders—Pushpa Lal Shrestha, Madan Bhandari and Manmohan Adhikari—on the banner at what was to be a unity parade. They wanted also Mao and Lenin on it. It was a day of long ideological debate. And it brought to the fore the deep differences between the two parties. The function planned by the Party Unification Coordination Committee (PUCC) to begin at noon was delayed by four long hours. Click here to read...

BANGLADESH
Commonwealth lauds Bangladesh for sheltering Rohingya: Hindustan Times
April 21, 2018

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) has commended Bangladesh for sheltering Rohingya refugees and called for a halt to violence in Myanmar, restoration of normality and accountability of violators of human rights. A 12-page communique issued at the end of the meeting on Friday set out the 53-member group’s position on various issues, including security, trade, migration and climate change, and focused on the situation of Rohingyas in Bangladesh and the Rakhine state in Myanmar. The communique said: “Heads called for a halt to all violence, a restoration of normality, and accountability of the perpetrators of gross violations of human rights through and independent process of investigation”.“They further called for the sustainable return of all such displaced Rohingya sheltered in Bangladesh to their rightful home in Myanmar under UNHCR oversight,” it added. Click here to read...

CHINA
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit China for one-on-one summit with Xi Jinping: South China Morning Post
April 23, 2018

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to central China this week for an informal summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, a meeting analysts say could help the two Asian giants reset ties. Click here to read...

China’s new aircraft carrier may start sea trials this week, source says: South China Morning Post
April 23, 2018

China’s first domestically built aircraft carrier is expected to start sea trials imminently, a source close to the navy said, amid what analysts say is growing external pressure to push forward its development. Click here to read...

Chinese President Xi Jinping calls for tighter grip on internet to ensure stability: South China Morning Post
April 21, 2018

China must strengthen its grip on the internet to ensure broader social and economic goals are met, state news agency Xinhua reported on Saturday citing comments from Chinese President Xi Jinping, underlining a hardening attitude towards online content. Click here to read...

China named as ‘force of instability’ in US human rights report: South China Morning Post
April 21, 2018

The United States has hit out at China, along with Russia, Iran and North Korea, in its annual human rights report for violating rights, calling them “forces of instability”. As in previous years, China was harshly criticised for restricting freedoms of speech and assembly and allowing or committing violence against religious and ethnic groups in the latest report from the US Department of State that covers 2017 and was released on Friday. Click here to read...

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