VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: 26th April, 2018
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PAKISTAN

PTM, tribal jirga agree to continue dialogue process: Dawn
April 26, 2018

Representa¬tives of the Pakhtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) and members of a tribal and political jirga resolved on Wednesday to continue the process of dialogue. This was the outcome of the latest round of talks between the PTM and the jirga at the Jamrud residence of Haji Shahji Gul, the MNA from Khyber tribal region. The session’s date and venue were decided between the two sides during their first round of talks on April 18 in Peshawar. The PTM was represented by its leaders Manzoor Pashteen, Mohsin Dawar and Bilal Mehsud while the jirga comprised all parliamentarians from tribal areas, two tribal elders from every tribal agency (most of them pro-government), some elders from the frontier regions and provincial minister Shah Farman and PML-N MNA Dr Ebad, representing the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and federal governments, respectively. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN

NDS Chief Survives Vote Of No Confidence: Tolo News
April 26, 2018

Chairman of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai, on Wednesday survived an impeachment motion brought against him by lawmakers in the Wolesi Jirga, the Lower House of Parliament, over the deteriorating security situation. The inability by the NDS chief to curb attacks by militants, fabricating cases against government critics, resorting to nepotism in the appointment of individuals and suspicious assassinations of NDS personnel in some provinces were among the allegations made by MPs which led to the impeachment motion. The motion failed to gain the majority of votes as there had not been a quorum. As such, Stanekzai survived the vote of no confidence with 19 votes in his favor, and 44 votes against him. Click here to read...

NEPAL

‘Over 5 million people without citizenship’, according to a State Department Report: Kathmandu Post
April 26, 2018

-An estimated 5.4 million individuals (24 percent of the population age 16 and over) lack citizenship in Nepal compelling them to experience discrimination in employment, education property ownership and even in receiving disaster relief, says a human rights report.
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2017 released by the United States Department of State on Wednesday claim that constitutional provisions, laws, and regulations governing citizenship discriminated by gender were among factors contributing to statelessness.

The report, which has compiled different aspects of human rights situation in Nepal, says that mothers faced extreme difficulties in securing citizenship papers for children of Nepali parents, even when they possessed Nepali citizenship documents, except in cases where the child’s father supported the application. Click here to read...

BANGLADESH

Bangladesh's first satellite to go aloft on May 7: Economic Times
April 25, 2018

Bangladesh is all set to become a member of the exclusive club of satellite-owning countries as its first commercial satellite "Bangabandhu-1" will likely be flying to space on May 7 from the US.

Bangladeshi Telecommunication and ICT Minister Mustafa Jabbar made the announcement here on Wednesday during his speech at a discussion meeting, jointly organized by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) and the Telecom Reporters' Network of Bangladesh (TRNB). The satellite will be launched from Florida's Cape Canaveral, Xinhua news agency reported. Jabbar said the scheduled launch of May 4 was deferred to May 7 due to inclement weather. Click here to read...

MALDIVES

President Yameen “biggest obstacle” to free and fair election, opposition claims: Haveeru
April 26, 2018

The opposition on Tuesday stated that the only way to have a fair and independent election is to remove President Abdulla Yameen from power. During a press conference held by the opposition coalition at the Jumhoory Party’s (JP) main hub ‘Kunooz’ in the capital Male, Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) parliamentary group leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said that the aim of the opposition is to clear any obstacles in bringing a free and fair election to the people. He added that in order to do this, the opposition must remove President Yameen from power, claiming that he is the biggest obstacle in achieving their goal. He said that the President also aware that people no longer support him. MP Solih noted that, according to the polls taken by the opposition, 65 percent of the public do not support him. Click here to read...

CHINA

Rejuvenation takes 'hard work': China Daily
April 26, 2018

National rejuvenation relies on the "hard work" of the Chinese people, and the country's innovation capacity must be raised through independent efforts, President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday. Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remark in an inspection tour to the Three Gorges Dam in Yichang, Hubei province. Click here to read...

Chinese tech company Huawei investigated for violating Iran sanctions by US Department of Justice: South China Morning Post
April 26, 2018

The US Justice Department is investigating China’s Huawei Technologies, the largest maker of telecom equipment in the world, for violating US sanctions in relation to Iran, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, amid growing concern in Washington about Chinese technology companies. Click here to read...

China announces tax cuts worth 60 bln yuan for innovative, small businesses: People’s Daily
April 26, 2018

China will make further tax cuts worth over 60 billion yuan (about 9.5 billion U.S. dollars) to drive innovation and entrepreneurship and boost the development of small and micro businesses, a State Council executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang decided on Wednesday. The move aims to reduce the cost for innovation and entrepreneurship, energize small and micro businesses and spur job creation. Click here to read...

China outlines roadmap for deep space exploration: People’s Daily
April 26, 2018

China is planning four deep space exploration missions before 2030, including probes to Mars, asteroids and Jupiter, says Pei Zhaoyu, deputy director of the Lunar Exploration and Space Program Center of the China National Space Administration. China would launch its first Mars probe in 2020, and it was expected to orbit around, land and put a rover on the Red Planet, Pei told a space conference on Tuesday, China's Space Day. Click here to read...

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