VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: 5th December, 2018
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US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad arrives in Islamabad for talks on Afghan reconciliation process: Dawn

December 4, 2018

Zalmay Khalilzad, the United States special envoy tasked with finding a negotiated end to Afghanistan's 17-year old war, arrived in Islamabad on Tuesday for meetings with the political and military leadership about bringing the Afghan Taliban to peace talks. Tuesday's visit comes a day after US President Donald Trump wrote a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan, seeking Islamabad's "assistance and facilitation in achieving a negotiated settlement of the Afghan war", said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement. Click here to read..


Nepal races against time to host South Asian sports meet: Kathmandu Post

December 4, 2018

Two years ago, the South Asia Olympic Council granted Nepal the hosting rights of the 13th South Asian Games. But the bi-annual event, originally scheduled for this year, has already been pushed back three times--partly because of the damage inflicted on the existing sporting infrastructure by the 2015 earthquake and largely due to the snail-paced development of the new and existing sporting facilities. The games’ management committee, headed by Sports Minister Jagat Sunwar, has announced a new date: September 2019. But the volume of outstanding projects and bureaucratic hurdles exude little confidence on whether Nepal can ever pull off another South Asian Games, let alone on the newly proposed date. Click here to read..


Bangladesh tries 8 over deadly cafe attack: Channel Asia

December 4, 2018

Eight alleged Islamist extremists went on trial in Bangladesh on Monday (Dec 3) over a savage 2016 attack claimed by Islamic State that killed 22 people including 18 foreigners at a Dhaka cafe popular with Westerners. Prosecutors say that the eight members of a homegrown extremist outfit were "associates" of the five attackers killed when police stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery cafe. Six defendants were present with two having absconded. More than 200 witnesses have been called in a special anti-terrorism court in the old part of the capital Dhaka under tight security. Click here to read..


US law firm says Myanmar committed genocide against Rohingya: Al Jazeera

December 4, 2018

An international law firm hired by the United States State Department to investigate last year's military crackdown on the Rohingya in Myanmar, says it has found evidence of genocide, urging the international community to establish a criminal investigation into the atrocities and ensure justice for the victims. The Public International Law and Policy Group (PILPG) said on Monday that its findings, based on interviews with more than 1,000 Muslim-majority Rohingya who fled to Bangladesh as a result of the crackdown in Rakhine state, also found reasonable grounds to conclude that the army committed crimes against humanity and war crimes. Click here to read..


The next three months crucial for both China and the US: People's Daily

December 4, 2018

On Saturday, President Xi Jinping met with his American counterpart Donald Trump in Argentina. According to the press releases that followed the meeting, both sides have agreed to halt further tariff escalations and to intensify their efforts at negotiation within the next 90 days, hoping to reach a deal to remove all of the additional tariffs imposed on each other since earlier this year. If these efforts fail, the United States is very likely to further escalate the trade war. Click here to read..

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