VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: August 19, 2019
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PAKISTAN
Qureshi challenges Modi to hold public referendum in occupied Kashmir: Dawn
August 19, 2019

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday challenged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hold a public referendum in occupied Kashmir "if he really wants feedback on the popularity of his decision" to strip it of its autonomous status. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN
Trump Says US Having ‘Good Discussions’ With Afghan Govt, Taliban: Tolo
August 19, 2019

US President Donald Trump on Sunday expressed optimism at the state of talks as the Taliban and the United States try to negotiate an agreement on the withdrawal of US forces in exchange for a Taliban commitment on security and peace talks with the Afghan government. He said the United States would seek to get troop levels below 13,000 but leave “very significant” intelligence capabilities behind. Click here to read...

BANGLADESH
Indian FM arrives today: The Daily Star
August 19, 2019

Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar will be arriving in Dhaka today on a three-day visit to further improve the bilateral relations of the two neighbours. This is his maiden visit to Bangladesh after his appointment as minister of the BJP-led government in May this year. Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen will receive his Indian counterpart at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 9:20pm. Jaishankar is scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting with Momen on Tuesday and leave Dhaka the next day. Click here to read...

Myanmar
Ambulance driver killed in Myanmar as army battles rebels: Al Jazeera
August 19, 2019

A volunteer ambulance worker has been killed and several others injured during fighting between separatist rebels and government forces in northern Myanmar. The rescue workers were about 20km from Lashio, the largest town in Shan State, where armed groups have been fighting for greater autonomy from the central government when their convoy came under attack on Saturday. Click here to read...

Sri Lanka
Anura Kumara named presidential candidate: Daily Mirror
August 19, 2019

JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake was today announced as the presidential candidate of the National Peoples Power headed by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna. His name was announced at a rally held at the Galle Face grounds this evening. The rally was organised by the Peoples Power which consists of 28 political parties, civil society groups and intellectuals. Click here to read...

Bhutan
PM Modi Heads Home After Winding Up His Two-day Successful Visit to Bhutan: News18
August 19, 2019

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday left for home after concluding his two-day state visit to Bhutan during which he held talks with the country's leaders to further deepen the bilateral ties. "Thank you Bhutan! It was a memorable visit. The affection I have received from the people of this wonderful nation can never be forgotten. There were many programmes which I had the honour of taking part in. The outcomes of the visit will enhance bilateral ties," Modi said just before his departure from Bhutan. Click here to read...

Nepal
Oli rules out vacating PM’s post for Dahal: The Himalayan Times
August 19, 2019

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli today said he would step down only after the next general elections, effectively refuting Co-chair of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s claim that there was a gentleman’s agreement with Oli to let Dahal become the PM after two-and-a-half years. Addressing the House of Representatives today, the PM said, “No elected or public officers hold their posts forever and nor will I, but those who want me to go should wait till the next general elections.” Click here to read...

China
China to build Shenzhen into socialist demonstration area: People's Daily
August 19, 2019

China Sunday released a guideline to build Shenzhen as a pilot demonstration area for socialism with Chinese characteristics, a move analysts believe will upgrade the city to a better place compared with its neighbor Hong Kong, where radical protests of two months have cast a long shadow on its role as an international financial hub. Click here to read...

How Hong Kong’s embattled police force is holding the city back from the brink against all odds: South China Morning Post
August 19, 2019

“Your words have completely written off our efforts in maintaining law and order over the past few months, and written off our sacrifices, too. You have completely disappointed us.” Those lines from a letter that the Hong Kong Police Inspectors’ Association sent to Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung captured the near-breaking point bitterness and hopelessness of the city’s law enforcers after the No 2 government official made a public apology on their behalf on July 26 for their failure to stop a violent mob rampage at Yuen Long MTR station the week before. Click here to read...

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