VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: 8th August, 2018

Crisis looms as ECP withholds 26 seats results: Dawn

August 8, 2018

The strength of the Pakis­tan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in the National Assembly has gone down from 116 to 112 for now and its ally Balochistan Awami Party from four to three. The nine NA constituencies where the results have been withheld include NA-53 (Islamabad) and NA-131 (Lahore) from where prime minister-in-waiting Imran Khan had defeated former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and former minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, respectively. Click here to read...


Ghani Says Decision On Ceasefire Will Be Made Soon: Tolo News

August 8, 2018

Addressing guests at the inauguration of an electricity substation in Kapisa province on Wednesday, President Ashraf Ghani hinted at the possibility of a ceasefire and said a decision will be made soon. He said government wants long-lasting, sustainable peace for Afghanistan. He also said discussions were ongoing about hoped for peace talks with the Taliban. Ghani also stated that without reforms Afghanistan would never be able to stand on its own two feet and that the country cannot rely on foreign aid forever. He said “no country has become prosperous through foreign aid”. Click here to read...


Nepal-China power line panel plans first meet: Kathmandu Post

August 8, 2018

Officials of the Nepal-China joint technical team formed to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) for a cross-border transmission line plan to hold their first meeting this month. The panel, which consists of five representatives from each country, will hire a consultant to prepare the DPR besides finalising the construction and funding modality of the first ever trans-Himalayan electricity line. According to a Nepali member of the team, the meeting will take place this month but the venue is yet to be decided. “It seems both sides want to host the first meeting of the technical team in their country,” said Komal Atreya, the government-appointed project chief of the cross-border power line project and member of the technical team. Click here to read...


UNHCR and UNDP urge tangible progress to improve conditions in Myanmar’s Rakhine State: UNHCR

August 8, 2018

Two months since the signing of the tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between UNHCR, UNDP, and the Government of Myanmar, UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, and UNDP, the UN’s development agency, are both urging Myanmar authorities to make tangible progress to improve conditions in Rakhine State. The Myanmar government’s willingness to take the lead in the implementation of this agreement is critical to creating conditions conducive for the voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable return of Rohingya refugees. The government has taken some encouraging steps since the MoU was signed on 6 June, including the formation of a tripartite Technical Working Group to support the implementation of the MoU; enabling an important visit by senior UNHCR and UNDP officials to the northern part of Rakhine State in early July; and facilitating an initial joint field visit to Rakhine State by the Technical Working Group mid-July. However, substantial progress is urgently needed in three key areas covered by the MoU: granting effective access in Rakhine State; ensuring freedom of movement for all communities; and addressing the root causes of the crisis. Click here to read...


China's service trade hits new high in H1: People's Daily

August 08, 2018

China's service trade mounted to a new high in the first half (H1) of this year as the government has made more efforts to further bolster and open up the service sector. The Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Tuesday the country's service trade rose 8.5 percent year on year to stand at 2.53 trillion yuan (nearly 370 billion U.S. dollars) in H1.Service exports increased 13.6 percent to 841.57 billion yuan, while imports gained 6.1 percent to 1.69 trillion yuan, which resulted in a deficit of nearly 848.18 billion yuan, down by 2.66 billion yuan from the same period a year ago. Click here to read...

Chinese intellectuals urged to toe the party line after pushbacks on policy: South China Morning Post

August 08, 2018

An extensive campaign to “enhance patriotism” among intellectuals is being rolled out in China amid an escalating trade war with the US and a rising tide of discontent from its liberal thinkers. Click here to read...

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