VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: 16th November, 2018
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PAKISTAN

Nawaz denies transaction with Qatari prince: Dawn

November 16, 2018

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday told an accountability court he had never had any transaction with Qatari Prince Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al-Thani. In response to a question put to him by Judge Mohammad Arshad Malik about the correspondence between the Qatari prince and the joint investigation team (JIT) constituted in the Panama Papers case, Mr Sharif said: “I had never participated in any transaction with Prince Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani; for that matter, any transaction which is mentioned in the worksheet and related paper.” He claimed that his name did not “figure in any capacity whatsoever in the two letters written by Prince Hamad bin Jassim”.Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN

Khalilzad Meets Taliban Delegation in Qatar: Tolo News

November 15, 2018

The US Special Envoy for Peace in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad met Taliban officials in Qatar for the second time where they discussed the issue of ending the war in Afghanistan. An Afghan source close to Khalilzad, and who follows the peace talks, said the special representative was optimistic about the Doha discussions. Khalilzad is expected to arrive back in Kabul on Saturday. Meanwhile a number of politicians have said that an office for the Taliban must be opened in Kabul. Khalilzad met Taliban officials in Doha in Qatar.Click here to read...

Politicians Warn Govt against Delaying Elections: Tolo News

November 15, 2018

In response to reports that Washington was pushing Afghanistan to postpone presidential elections next year, officials from some of Afghanistan’s influential political parties on Thursday reiterated calls for elections to be held on time. Among those opposed to the idea was Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the leader of Hizb-e-Islami, who said the elections need to be held on time and that he was opposed to the idea of establishing an interim government. In addition, other poltical parties such as Jamiat-e-Islami Party of Afghanistan and National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan also voiced their opposition to a delay. But some close aides to former president Hamid Karzai have said that the country needs to prioritize the peace process.Click here to read...

NEPAL

Uttar Pradesh CM to open Nepal-India railway next month: November 15, 2018: Kathmandu Post

November 16, 2018

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is set to inaugurate the Janakpur-Jayanagar-Kurtha railway line next month as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit has been reportedly cancelled due to his hectic schedule. The chief minister of Indian state bordering Nepal will be leading “a wedding procession” from India to the Ram-Janaki Temple in Janakpur to celebrate the Bibaha Panchami, the day Ram and Sita were married, sources have confirmed. The move, according to experts, is an attempt to influence voters in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar ahead of the crucial Lok Sabha elections set to commence in 2019.Click here to read...

SRI LANKA

Sri Lanka MPs fight in parliament as power struggle deepens: Guardian

November 15, 2018

One MP was hospitalised and another accused of brandishing a knife during an all-out brawl on the floor of Sri Lanka’s parliament, in the latest escalation of the political turmoil that has left the country without an agreed prime minister or cabinet. The session on Thursday morning was abandoned after supporters of Mahinda Rajapaksa, the disputed prime minister, rushed at the parliament’s speaker, Karu Jayasuriya. Jayasuriya was defended by MPs loyal to Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was dismissed from the prime ministership a fortnight ago and replaced with Rajapaksa in what Wickremesinghe’s supporters say was a political coup.Click here to read...

CHINA

Xi vows support for Asia-Pacific: China Daily

November 16, 2018

China will work with Papua New Guinea for a successful meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group and make more contributions to the economic growth of the Asia-Pacific and the world, President Xi Jinping said on Thursday. Xi made the remark in a written statement on arrival at Jacksons International Airport in Port Moresby, capital of PNG.Click here to read...

Li urges countries to spur regional growth: China Daily

November 16, 2018

China is ready to work with other countries to boost East Asia's security and development by safeguarding the rules-based international order and free trade, and promoting sustainable development and political dialogue, Premier Li Keqiang told the 13th East Asia Summit on Thursday in Singapore.Click here to read...

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