VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: 31st January, 2019
Taliban say they are not looking to rule Afghanistan alone: Dawn
January 31, 2019

The Taliban said on Wednesday they are not seeking a "monopoly on power" in a future administration in Afghanistan but are looking for ways to co-exist with Afghan institutions — the most conciliatory statement to date from the militants. The statement came amid intensified United States-led efforts to resolve the long-running Afghanistan war. US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad reported this week that there had been "agreements in principle" toward a framework for peace with the Taliban, who now control almost half of the country and carry out near-daily attacks, mainly targeting Afghan security forces and government officials. Click here to read…

Pakistan holds 'keys to war', says Afghan president: Dawn
January 31, 2019

Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani said on Wednesday that the “keys to war are in Islamabad, Quetta, Rawal­pindi”, suggesting Pakistan was a safe haven for cross-border militant activities. Ghani said the “key to peace was in Afghanistan”, as talks between Taliban and US officials on ending the 17-year war in Afghanistan appear to be gaining momentum. Ghani made the remarks as US peace negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad visited Kabul for consultations on his progress in talks with the Taliban. Click here to read…

1,500 displaced quake victims receive land plots in safer locations: Kathmandu Post
January 31, 2019

One thousand five hundred and sixty five displaced families from sixteen earthquake-hit districts have received land plots in safer locations to construct their houses. Around 44 hectares of land have been distributed to the displaced families, most of whom are from Gorkha, Dhading, Rasuwa, Nuwakot, Sindhupalchok, Okhaldhunga, Sindhuli and Chitwan, among other quake-hit districts. As per the data provided by the Digo Samadhan Pariyojana, a project that provides technical help to the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA), 466 quake victims were given single ownership of land, whereas 1,101 quake-affected families were given joint ownership in the name of husband and wife. Click here to read…

China’s manufacturing shrank again in January, as fears of further economic slowdown mount: South China Morning Post
January 31, 2019

Factory activity in China contracted for a second consecutive month in January, as the trade war with the United States and a domestic slowdown continue to weigh on the world’s second largest economy. Click here to read…

Mainland opposes external intervention on Taiwan question: People's Daily
January 31, 2019

The Chinese mainland firmly opposes any external intervention on the Taiwan question which concerns the country's core interests, a mainland spokesperson said Wednesday. Ma Xiaoguang, spokesperson with the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, made the comment at a press conference, in response to the passage of two U.S. military vessels through the Taiwan Strait on Jan. 24. Click here to read…

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