VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: 14th June , 2018
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PAKISTAN
PML-N to have no issue in working with army leadership: Mushahid Hussain Syed: Dawn
June 14, 2018

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz will have no issue in working with the army leadership if it comes into power after July 25 vote, says PML-N media cell chairman Mushahid Hussain Sayed. “The party will have normal relations with the establishment after winning the polls,” Sayed who heads the newly-established cell, told Dawn here on Wednesday. “If you remember, party president Shahbaz Sharif had undertaken his last visit to (North) Waziristan and had a very good interaction with the army officials there in a congenial atmosphere,” said the N League Senator, who had accompanied the then Punjab chief minister to North Waziristan. He didn’t agree to the proposition that ‘non-elected forces’ could change the election scene altogether, recalling that in the 1988 poll the IJI (Islami Jamhoori Ittehad) cobbled together by these forces had failed to stop late Benazir Bhutto from getting majority in the parliament and forming the government. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN
Optimism Grows Over Govt-Taliban Ceasefire: Tolo News
June 13, 2018

The former Taliban ambassador to Pakistan Abdul Salam Zaeef says he is optimistic about the continuation of the ceasefire between the Afghan government and the Taliban, saying that the truce might be extended. Talking to TOLOnews this week, Zaeef also spoke about the current administration and said any collapse of the system would not be in the interests of the people or the country. He said instead efforts need to be made to reform and extend the current system. “I am not in favor of A collapse of this system. Peace should be ensured and the system should be reformed and it should be further supported,” he said. Meanwhile, the Taliban’s leader Mullah Hebatullah Akhundzada said in his Eid message, which came just days after the group called for a three-day ceasefire, that the group’s fight is to end the presence of US military in Afghanistan. Akhundzada said the only way to rescue Afghanistan was for the US forces and, in his words, “other occupying forces”, to leave the country, so that an independent, Islamic, intra-Afghan government “can take root”. Click here to read...

NEPAL
Dozen agreements on PM’s China visit agenda: Kathmandu Post
June 14, 2018

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli is embarking on a five-day official visit to China on June 19 as Beijing looks to deepening ties with Nepal with deals under its flagship Belt and Road Initiative. PM Oli, for the first time, is going to discuss projects under the BRI after Nepal became a part of it last year. Kathmandu has already sent a list of projects to Beijing mostly related to road, rail, energy and cross-border power transmission. as Beijing looks to deepening ties with Nepal with deals under its flagship Belt and Road Initiative. PM Oli, for the first time, is going to discuss projects under the BRI after Nepal became a part of it last year. Kathmandu has already sent a list of projects to Beijing mostly related to road, rail, energy and cross-border power transmission. The foreign ministries of Nepal and China on Wednesday announced PM Oli’s visit. As of Wednesday, both the sides have agreed to sign at least six pacts while negotiations are going on for five other deals. This will be the second China visit by PM Oli. In 2016, he signed a landmark Transit and Transport Agreement with China, expected to end Nepal’s longstanding dependence on India for third-country trade. Click here to read....

SRILANKA
Anomalies in Sri Lanka’s national debt: News first
June 14, 2018

Serious anomalies in the exact debt position of the country have come to light with the release of the Central Bank Annual report and the Ministry of Finance Annual Report. The Central Bank Annual Report 2017 clearly indicates that the Debt to GDP ratio stands at 77%, however, the Ministry of Finance Annual Report carries a statement from the Auditor General that states the actual debt position is not as stated. According to the Auditor General, the total debt is 10,702 Billion and not Rs 10,313 billion as stated by the Ministry of Finance. He also stated that the debt to GDP ratio is 81%, The difference in rupee terms is Rs 389 Billion or about USD 2.5 Billion. Click here to read....

MALDIVES
Ex-pres Maumoon, top court judges face one-and-a-half year jail sentence: Haveeru
June 13, 2018

The Criminal Court on Wednesday sentenced former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, and Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and Judge Ali Hameed of the Supreme Court, to a year, seven months and six days in jail. They were convicted of obstructing justice after the court found them guilty of refusing to comply with the police's order to hand over their mobile phones for investigation, after their arrests under the state of emergency on February 5. In addition to their prison sentences, the verdict also annulled the trio's licenses to practise law and give religious sermons. While the prosecution presented its final statement prior to the verdict reading, Prosecutor Aishath Muna Shameem stated that secret witness testimonies proved that Maumoon, Saeed and Hameed owned mobile phones and had deliberately refused to hand them over despite the police's order. She added that the testimonies further indicated that their mobile phones contained incriminating evidence against them. Click here to read....

CHINA
Kim-Trump summit triggers business optimism for North Korea: People's Daily
June 14, 2018

Heated discussions on the historic summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump among Chinese have yet to subside, and some Chinese have high expectations of business opportunities in North Korea once the Korean Peninsula enjoys permanent peace. The Kim-Trump summit in Singapore on Tuesday has become one of the hottest topics on Chinese social media platform Sina Weibo, with the page "Kim-Trump summit" receiving more than 130 million views as of press time. Click here to read....

Xi: Build maritime economy: People's Daily
June 14, 2018

President Xi Jinping has called for building up a strong maritime country, urging solid efforts to develop the marine economy. Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the call on Tuesday during an inspection tour in Qingdao, where he chaired the 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit during the weekend. Click here to read....

Belt and Road Initiative belongs to whole world: Chinese envoy: Xinhuanet
June 14, 2018

Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations Ma Zhaoxu said Wednesday that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is China's initiative, but the opportunities and fruits that it presents belong to the whole world. At a high-level symposium, which was jointly sponsored by the Chinese mission to the United Nations, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, World Health Organization and United Nations Development Programme, the Chinese envoy said BRI aims to synergize the development strategies of various countries, strengthen international cooperation for shared prosperity in Asia, Europe and beyond, and jointly build a community of shared future for mankind. Click here to read....

Foxconn looks to AI after maker of Apple and Amazon products celebrates 30 years in China: South China Morning Post
June 14, 2018

Billionaire Terry Gou threw a party for more than 100 of his employees last week and sang happy birthday for them. They were all born on June 6, 1988 – the same day Foxconn Technology Group established its first factory in mainland China, one of the first international investors to do so. Click here to read....

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