VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: 1st May, 2018
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PAKISTAN
Opposition in Senate rejects budget as unconstitutional: Dawn
May 01, 2018

The opposition in the Senate on Monday rejected the proposed budget for the next financial year, warning that the “disastrous” budget would create problems for the incoming government. Leader of the Opposition in the House Sherry Rehman opened the discussion by saying that the presentation of the budget without the National Finance Commission (NFC) award was unconstitutional. She also observed that the outgoing government had no legal and moral authority to present a full year budget. She chided the government for its non-serious attitude towards parliament as there was not a single minister present when the session began. Of the 104 members of the Senate, only 26 were present in the house, nine of them were on the treasury benches. “Mr Chairman, ask those who talk about the sanctity of the vote where their ministers have gone,” she said, while addressing Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN
Journalists Targeted In Kabul Bombing: Tolo News
April 30, 2018

At least seven journalists were killed in Monday’s bombing in Shashdarak in Kabul city when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives at the scene of an earlier explosion. AFP has so far confirmed that their the chief photographer in their Kabul bureau Shah Marai was among those killed. AFP confirmed on Twitter: “He died in a blast that was targeting a group of journalists who had rushed to the scene of a suicide attack in the Afghan capital.” The identities of the other journalists have not yet been released. At least 21 people were killed and nearly 40 others were wounded in two explosions in the city on Monday, Ministry of Public Health confirmed. The first explosion happened at about 8am – a second one happened at the scene of the first blast just 20 minutes later. In the second explosion first responders and journalists were targeted. Click here to read...

NEPAL
Nepal All set to Welcome PM Modi: Pioneer
May 1, 2018

Days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Kathmandu, Nepal’s Chargé d’Affaires (CDA) to India Bharat Kumar Regmi said both sides are working on the agendas to make the visit a successful one. Modi is scheduled to visit Kathmandu on May 11-12. Modi’s visit to Kathmandu comes just over a month after Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli’s visit to New Delhi. It was Oli’s first trip abroad after taking over as Nepal’s new PM. The dates for his visit will be announced soon. Agenda is being prepared for the meetings. Both sides are working in close consultation to make this visit successful. This visit will provide an opportunity for the leaders at highest level to have discussions at wide ranging subjects and give opportunity for better understanding, strengthening relationship which is multifaceted and multidimensional,” Regmi said. Modi’s Nepal visit is seen as a “trust building” trip to strengthen relations between the two countries that has come back to track after a brief disorientation. In Nepal Modi is likely to travel to Janakpur and lay foundation of the 900 MW Arun III Hydroelectric Power Plant. Click here to read...

BANGLADESH
'Nepal will be linked with Bangladesh by tunnel': Daily Star
May 01, 2018

Nepal and Bangladesh will be connected via a tunnel to promote transnational road link, reports The Kathmandu Post quoting Matrika Prasad Yadav, Nepalese minister for industry, commerce and supply. Inaugurating the third conference of small- and medium-sized enterprises from China and South Asian countries in the Capital on Sunday, Minister Yadav said a tunnel would be constructed to connect the two countries with the shortest route. A stretch of the India territory lies between Nepal and Bangladesh. Stressing Nepal's good relations with China, he said Nepal's dream for prosperity could be realised by further consolidating such ties. Minister Yadav invited South Asian countries to invest in Nepal with confidence, urging entrepreneurs to boost production. Click here to read...

CHINA
Xi-Modi informal meeting underscores mutual trust, cooperation: Xinhuanet
March 28, 2018

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that mutual trust is the basis for the stable development of Sino-Indian relations .Xi made the remarks when holding an informal meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday and Saturday in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. Click here to read...

China, UAE vow to boost strategic partnership: Xinhuanet
April 30, 2018

Visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping's special representative Yang Jiechi on Monday held talks with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, vowing to boost strategic partnership. Click here to read...

China, Dominican Republic establish diplomatic ties: Xinhuanet
May 01, 2018

China and the Dominican Republic signed a joint communique in Beijing Tuesday on the establishment of diplomatic relations. The communique was signed by Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Dominican Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas. Click here to read...

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi’s North Korea visit ‘could make case for four-party talks on peninsula’: South China Morning Post
April 30, 2018

China’s foreign minister will travel to North Korea on Wednesday in the first such visit since 2007, which analysts say may show Beijing’s desire to join the next stage of talks involving the two Koreas and the United States. Click here to read...

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