VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: 24th October, 2018
Saudi Arabia pledges $6bn package to Pakistan: Dawn
October 24, 2018

After weeks of speculation, Saudi Arabia on Tuesday stepped forward with a $6 billion bailout package for Pakistan’s ailing economy. The package includes $3bn balance of payments support and another $3bn in deferred payments on oil imports. Agreements in this regard were signed on the sidelines of the second edition of the annual Future Investment Initiative (FII) Conference in Riyadh. It showcases economic and investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia as it pursues Vision 2030 for diversifying its economy. The Pakistani delegation was led by Prime Minister Imran Khan. Click here to read...

US Treasury Sanctions Target Taliban, Iranian Backers: Tolo News
October 24, 2018

The United States targeted Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgency on Tuesday with sanctions against eight individuals, including two linked to the Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. The individuals, who also include two Pakistanis and four Afghans, were designated global terrorists by the Treasury Department, an action that allows the U.S. government to freeze property or interest in property under American jurisdiction. U.S. sanctions have targeted Taliban members involved in suicide attacks and other lethal activities in Afghanistan, as well as Iranians who provide material and financial support, Treasury said in a statement. “Iran’s provision of military training, financing and weapons to the Taliban is yet another example of Tehran’s blatant regional meddling and support for terrorism,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “The United States and our partners will not tolerate the Iranian regime exploiting Afghanistan to further their destabilizing behavior.” Click here to read...

Bangladesh Arrests Prominent Government Critic: NDTV
October 24, 2018

Bangladesh police on Monday arrested a prominent critic of the government who recently helped the country's embattled opposition parties forge an alliance amid fears that dissent is being stifled in the South Asian nation. Police said Moinul Hosein, a top lawyer and a publisher of an English daily, was detained from Dhaka's Uttara neighbourhood hours after Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina slammed him for his comments against a pro-government female journalist. "He has been arrested after a warrant of arrest was issued against him", a senior Dhaka Metropolitan Police officer told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. Hosein, 78, who does not belong to any political party, emerged as a top critic of the government in recent months and was a key organiser of the recently formed alliance between the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and other centrist parties. Click here to read...

Sri Lanka wants Chinese help to recover phone evidence over 'assassination plot': Reuter
October 24, 2018

Sri Lankan police on Tuesday won permission from a court to ask Chinese phone manufacturer Huawei to help recover data from a phone used by a police informant who has alleged a plot to kill President Maithripala Sirisena. Informant Namal Kumara said at a news conference last month he had discussed the plot by phone with a senior police officer. He has since been questioned but not charged with any offence. Former Sri Lankan defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa was also a target of the plot, Kumara said. Click here to read...

President encourages businesses to innovate: China Daily
October 24, 2018

President Xi Jinping said on Monday that innovation is the core of the manufacturing industry and is critical for developing the real economy, and he encouraged enterprises to be ambitious in making independent innovations. Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remark when visiting Gree Electric Appliances Inc in Zhuhai, Guangdong province. Click here to read...

Interview: Abe calls for steady development of ties with China: Xinhuanet
October 24, 2018

Japan and China should proceed from the big picture to steadily develop their friendly and cooperative ties as the two countries share major responsibility for regional and world peace and prosperity, said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Abe made the remarks in a written interview with Chinese media ahead of his three-day official visit to China scheduled from Thursday, which will mark the first time since 2011 for a Japanese prime minister to visit China officially. Click here to read...

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