VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: 24th April, 2018
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PAKISTAN

'CPEC is a reality': Two-day summit kicks off in Karachi: Dawn
April 24, 2014

The two-day CPEC Summit, being hosted by the Dawn Media Group in collaboration with the Ministry of Planning and Development, kicked off at Karachi’s Bagh-i-Jinnah on Monday. Various speakers, including Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing, addressed the conference on the first day of the event. While addressing the summit, PM Abbasi remarked that while the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was unheard of merely three years ago, the world acknowledges it as a reality today. Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal in his address talked about the progress and development made in the country during the tenure of the PML-N's government. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN

Government Peace Offer A Good Chance For Taliban: Nicholson: Tolo News
April 23, 2018

The Commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan General John Nicholson on Monday said the Afghan government’s peace offer to the Taliban was an opportunity for the group to end the violence and join the peace process. Speaking during the ceremony, Nicholson said: “As you all know spontaneous social gatherings in support of the peace process are springing up around the entire country, up to 20 provinces now. And this is all following the offer by his excellency President (Ashraf) Ghani to the Taliban that he made at the Kabul peace process conference. “We hope that the Taliban, as the Afghan people, want peace and now is the best opportunity to end this war. So, in closing I want to remind all of our Afghan friends here today and all Afghans that we are with you and we will stay with you to help deliver the peace and stability that this country deserves after so many years of hardship,” said Nicholson. Click here to read...

NEPAL

Preparations begin for PM Modi’s visit starting May 11: Kathmandu Post
April 24, 2018

Reciprocating high-level visits from Nepal and aiming to reset ties with Kathmandu, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is arriving here on May 11, his third time after taking office in 2014. At a high-level meeting attended by senior officials and security agency representatives, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Monday endorsed India’s proposal for the visit. Oli directed officials to make necessary preparations for welcoming the Indian prime minister. Modi’s Nepal visit will follow a summit between him and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing later this week. The developments are keenly watched as the giant neighbours compete for political and economic influence in the region while striking a balance between the two nuclear powers. Officials said the May 11-12 timing, which appears to be convenient for both sides, is subject to change by a day or two if the need arises to fit Modi’s schedule. Click here to read...

BANGLADESH

PM Modi meets Bangladesh delegation: The Hindu
April 23, 2018

India wants an early resolution of the Rohingya crisis, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Bangladeshi Transport Minister Obaidul Quader on Monday. “Referring to Bangladesh’s role in providing shelter to the forcibly displaced people from Myanmar, the Indian Premier said his country wants an early resolution to the problem. He also supported Bangladesh’s position on this issue,” said a press release by Farid Hossain, Minister in charge of press affairs of Bangladesh High Commission. Click here to read...

BHUTAN

SSB completes border deployment along Nepal, Bhutan with over 54,000 troops: Times of India
April 22, 2018

In order to strengthen security along India's eastern frontier, the Sashastra Seema Bal has finally completed the deployment of over 54,000 personnel along the open and crime-prone borders with Nepal and Bhutan. The border guarding force has been sanctioned a total of 55 battalions for border operations by the government a few years ago as part of its primary task to secure the 1,751-km Indo-Nepal and 699-km Indo-Bhutan borders. Officials said a total of 34 battalions of the SSB, at 511 operational border posts, have now been deployed along the Nepal border front that runs across the states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar West Bengal and Sikkim. Similarly, 20 full battalions of the paramilitary, at 158 operational border posts, have now been deployed along the Bhutan border that runs along the states of West Bengal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, they said. Click here to read...

CHINA

China's high-quality development off to good start: CPC Politburo: People’s Daily
April 24, 2018

China has seen a good start to its high-quality development, the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee said Monday. The Chinese economy has maintained its steady growth momentum in the first quarter of this year, as major economic indicators pointed to stronger domestic demand and good coordination between the growth of the industrial and service sectors, according to a statement released after a meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee. Click here to read...

Xi urges SCO to expand cooperation: People’s Daily
April 24, 2018

President Xi Jinping called on the Shanghai Cooperation Organization members on Monday to remain true to their original aspiration and push cooperation in all areas. Xi made the remark while meeting with senior diplomats of the members of the SCO at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. After the meeting, Xi also met with defense ministers of those countries. Click here to read...

Xi says he's looking forward to planning China-Russia ties with Putin in new era: China Daily
April 24, 2018

Chinese President Xi Jinping said Monday that he is looking forward to meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in June and jointly planning China-Russia ties in a new era. Xi made the remarks when meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Click here to read...

Xi Jinping seeks to boost domestic demand as trade war looms and figures suggest growth is slowing in large parts of China: South China Morning Post
April 23, 2018

Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Monday that the country would try to boost domestic demand to keep the world’s second biggest economy on track in a “complicated” external political and economic situation. Click here to read...

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