VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: 13 March 2018

Iran invites Pakistan to participate in Chahbahar project: Dawn
March 13, 2018

Iranian Foreign Minister Dr Javad Zarif on Monday invited Pakistan to participate in Chahbahar seaport project and development of its link with Gwadar Port as he sought to allay concerns here over Indian involvement in the Iranian port. “We offered to participate in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). We have also offered Pakistan and China to participate in Chahbahar,” Dr Zarif, who is on a three-day visit to Pakistan, said while delivering a lecture at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) that had been held to commemorate 70th anniversary of establishment of Pak-Iran diplomatic relations. Dr Zarif had earlier held bilateral talks with his Pakistani counterpart Khawaja Asif at the Foreign Office and addressed a trade conference. The visiting foreign minister is being accompanied by a large trade delegation from Iran. Pakistan had always been concerned about Indian involvement in Chahbahar port. These concerns got amplified after Iran last month signed a lease agreement with India, which would give operational control of the port to the latter.Click here to read...

US to continue aiding Afghan peace bid: Envoy: Pakjhwok News

The US envoy to Afghanistan on a trip to southern Kandahar province on Monday said his country would continue supporting the war-torn country in diverse fields particularly in the peace process. John R. Bass, the US ambassador to Kabul, met with Kandahar governor, Zalmai Wesa, and provincial council members during his stay in Kandahar City. Also present at the meeting was Sayed Jan Khakrizwal, the provincial council head, who said the US should honestly support the Afghan government-led reconciliation. He said that the Wolesi Jirga and district council elections should be also held as scheduled. The elections are scheduled for July 7, 2018. But the Independent Election Commission (IEC) recently said the elections may be delayed. The US envoy, Bass, said his country would honestly support the Afghan peace process and would help conduct the parliamentary elections on its schedule. Kandahar Wesa, mentioned electricity, irrigation water, school and health center buildings and roads between the provincial capital and a number of districts among shortages Kandahar faced with. He said that Kandahar needed cooperation in the mentioned areas. Click here to read...

At least 49 die in plane crash: Kathmandu Post
March 13, 2018

At least 49 people died on Monday when a plane carrying 71 passengers and crew crashed on “abnormal” landing at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA)—the third deadliest aviation accident involving an international carrier in Nepal. Twenty-two people, including 11 Nepalis, survived the crash. They have been admitted to different hospitals, Nepal Police Spokesperson DIG Manoj Neupane said. Of the total passengers, 33 were Nepalis, 32 Bangladeshis, one Chinese and one from the Maldives. The 78-seater US-Bangla Airlines Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft crashed at 2:18pm. This is the third deadliest crash since the twin aviation disaster in 1992—Thai Airways International in July 31 and Pakistan International Airlines in September 28—crashed into a mountain while attempting to land at TIA, killing all together 280 people aboard. Air traffic controllers have described Monday’s scene before the crash was “something like a war film”—a complete suicidal attempt that nearly blew the tower. Nepal government has formed a commission to probe the accident. Click here to read...

China should assure OBOR won’t threaten other countries: Sirisena: Daily Mirror
March 12, 2018

President Maithripala Sirisena has said that China should make it clear that its 'One Belt One Road' (OBOR) initiative will not pose any threat to other countries, NHK World reported today. President Sirisena has made these remark in an interview with NHK ahead of his visit to Japan on Monday. He will meet Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his stay. President Sirisena, who won the 2015 presidential election by defeating pro-China incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa, pledged to uphold a well-balanced foreign policy. NHK said Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port was leased out to China for 99 years in return for Beijing's waiving of more than a billion dollars of Sri Lankan debt. The port will be the largest in South Asia, and is expected to play a key role in the One Belt, One Road plan. President Sirisena said that China should make it clear that it will not pose any threat to other countries. Click here to read...

Myanmar building military bases over Rohingya villages: Amnesty
March 13, 2018

Myanmar is building military bases over flattened Rohingya villages, an international rights group said. Security forces have bulldozed houses and started constructing at least three new security facilities in Myanmar's western Rakhine state, said Amnesty International's Remaking Rakhine State report, which was published on Monday. The report, which said construction of the three army outposts began in January, is based on satellite imagery and witness statements from Rohingya refugees. "What we are seeing in Rakhine state is a land grab by the military on a dramatic scale. New bases are being erected to house the very same security forces that have committed crimes against humanity against Rohingya," Tirana Hassan, Amnesty's crisis response director, said. Click here to read...

Far-reaching powers of China’s new super anti-corruption agency revealed: South China Morning Post
March 13, 2018

Management teams in village governments, research institutes, public hospitals and schools will all come under the scrutiny of China’s new anti-corruption agency, it was revealed on Tuesday. Click here to read...

China slashes ministries in sweeping changes to reduce bureaucracy, end turf wars: South China Morning Post

March 13, 2018
China has unveiled an ambitious plan to revamp its central government structure, with more than two dozen ministries and organisations affected. Click here to read...

North Korean nuclear crisis at a crossroads: Xi Jinping urges Kim and Trump to fast track talks: South China Morning Post
March 13, 2018

The North Korean nuclear crisis is at a crossroads and Washington and Pyongyang should hold direct talks as soon as possible. That was the message Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered when he met Chung Eui-yong, top security adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Monday, Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily reported. Click here to read...

China's national legislature starts 4th plenary meeting of annual session: China Daily
March 13, 2018

The first session of the 13th National People's Congress, China's national legislature, started its fourth plenary meeting Tuesday morning. Lawmakers will hear a draft supervision law and a State Council reshuffle plan during the meeting. Click here to read...

Contact Us