VIF Neighborhood News Digest: August 22, 2019
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PAKISTAN
NAB to be stripped of powers to probe private citizens: minister: Dawn
August 22, 2019

The government has decided to strip the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) of powers to investigate the affairs of persons other than holders of public offices by amending the National Accountability Ordi­nance (NAO), commonly known as the NAB law. Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, the federal Minister for Law and Justice, Dr Farogh Nasim, explained the amendments being proposed to “rationalise” the NAB law and said one of them was aimed to “exclude the private person from the jurisdiction of NAB”. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN
Trump Wants India, Other Countries to Fight in Afghanistan: Tolo
August 22, 2019

Countries like India, Iran, Russia and Turkey will have to fight terrorists in Afghanistan “at a certain point of time”, US President Donald Trump said at the White House on Wednesday, mentioning that the job against terrorism is done only by the United States. Mr. Trump said that other nations currently are making very less efforts against the terrorists in Afghanistan. “At a certain point Russia, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Turkey they are going to have to fight their battles too. We wiped out the caliphate 100 percent. I did it in record time.” Mr. Trump told reporters at the White House while responding to a question on the reemergence of Daesh in Afghanistan. Click here to read...

BANGLADESH
Scrapping J&K's Special Status Is India's Internal Matter: Bangladesh: NDTV
August 22, 2019

Bangladesh said today that revoking the special status to Jammu and Kashmir is India's internal matter and maintaining regional peace and stability should be a priority for all countries. Bangladesh's reaction on the issue came a day after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar visited the country and held talks with the top leadership, including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. "Bangladesh maintains that the abrogation of Article 370 by the Indian Government is an internal issue of India," Bangladesh's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. Click here to read...

Myanmar
Pulse prices fall as India buys less: The Myanmar Times
August 22, 2019

Prices of pulses have dropped this month compared to last month following lower demand from India, amid import restrictions for these edible legumes that can only be exported to Myanmar’s western neighbour through quotas. Myanmar Pulses, Beans and Sesame Seeds Merchants Association secretary U Min Ko Oo said the prices of matpe beans or black gram and pigeon peas have each fallen K 50,000 a tonne to K770,000 and K930,000 respectively this month compared to July. “Prices for these crops have been gradually falling from early this month as India imports less,” he said. India, which has been the main market for Myanmar’s pulses, restricted imports from August 2017 and allows imports only through a quota system and over a set period. Click here to read...

Sri Lanka
Speaker will resign to contest presidential polls: SLPP: Daily Mirror
August 22, 2019

Once the alliance led by the United National Party (UNP) is formed, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya will resign from the post to contest the presidential election, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) said today. MP Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said the Speaker will resign as soon as the alliance is formed. “I challenge Speaker Jayasuriya to admit if he can, that he will not be a presidential candidate,” the MP told a news briefing. He said Prime Minister and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was attempting to protect his party leadership and that Mr. Jayasuriya supports him in this. “There is no one capable enough to give a fight to Premier Wickremesinghe in the UNP. No one can prevent the party from being split into three. Mr.Jayasuriya is trying to save the UNP leadership and contest the presidential polls. We, the SLPP, have no issue regarding this," he said. Click here to read...

Bhutan
GAG better than GDG: Foreign minister: Kuensel
August 22, 2019

Even after a nation-wide sensitisation programme on the gewog annual grant (GAG) by the finance minister, some confusion remains on whether the introduction of the GAG has removed the flexibility given to gewogs by the erstwhile gewog development grant (GDG). Gewogs found GDG useful because they could plan and use it for activities that were not included in five-year Plan activities. Some local leaders feared that GAG would not allow them to implement projects that were not included in the 12th Plan. However, Foreign Minister Dr Tandi Dorji said that GAG gives gewogs the flexibility to reprioritise activities in line with the National Key Result Areas. This means that the introduction of GAG does not stop gewogs from planning and implementing activities that were not included in the 12th Plan. Click here to read...

Nepal
India gives Rs 3.74 billion, signs MoU on food safety: The Himalayan Times
August 22, 2019

Nepal and India signed one agreement, while India handed over cheques amounting to around Rs 3.74 billion for two projects, during the fifth Nepal-India Joint Commission meeting that concluded here today. Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali and Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, who co-chair the commission, witnessed the signing of the memorandum of understanding on food safety between the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control of Nepal and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. Click here to read...

China
China to impose sanctions on U.S. companies in case of arms sales to Taiwan: Xinhuanet
August 22, 2019

China on Wednesday urged the United States to immediately cancel the planned arms sales to Taiwan, saying China will take all necessary measures to defend its own interests including imposing sanctions on U.S. companies involved in the planned sales. Click here to read...

China, Japan, ROK vow to uphold multilateralism: China Daily
August 22, 2019

China, Japan and the Republic of Korea vowed on Wednesday to advocate multilateralism and promote regional peace, making their cooperation the cornerstone of Northeast Asia's prosperity and stability. Click here to read...

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