VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: July 29, 2019
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PAKISTAN
Reservations on Taliban talks removed: Qureshi: Dawn
July 29, 2019

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Sunday that the Taliban were ready for negotiations and Pakistan was playing the role of a mediator for restoration of peace in Afghanistan. Talking to reporters, he said Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had some reservations over negotiations with the Taliban which had been removed by Pakistan. When Dawn contacted Mr Qureshi for his comment on a Taliban spokesman’s statement rejecting talks with the Afghan government, he said the Taliban were ready for talks with Islamabad and that’s what he meant to say earlier in the day. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN
Death Toll Rises To 20 In Attack On Saleh’s Office: Tolo News
July 29, 2019

The death toll climbed to 20 in a complex attack on former interior minister and vice-presidential candidate Amrullah Saleh’s political office in Kabul, the Ministry of Interior confirmed. The attack, which continued for six hours, left 50 others wounded, the Interior Ministry’s spokesman Nusrat Rahimi said, adding 16 of those killed were civilians. At least four attackers were involved in the siege which started with a car bombing at around 4:40 pm Kabul time on Sunday. It targeted the Green Trend office, a political movement run by Mr. Saleh, in Shaheed Circle in Kabul’s PD4, in an area surrounded with civilian houses, a university, and a small township. Click here to read...

NEPAL
Myopic decisions have made the people question their faith in this government: Kathmandu Post
July 29, 2019

The government has backtracked on several policy decisions in the past few months, which has raised doubts over its credibility. Ranging from the Guthi Bill to the latest decision on pesticide residue testing, the government has backed off from its earlier stance amid mounting public pressure. Its decision not to host the International Indian Film Academy Awards in Kathmandu also exhibited a similar trend. The issue of conducting this event had become very controversial to the extent of attracting the attention of the parliamentary Committee on International Relations. Click here to read...

MYANMAR
Myanmar delegation holds repatriation talks with Rohingya in Bangladesh: Frontier Post
July 28, 2019

A top-level Myanmar government delegation began repatriation talks with Rohingya leaders in a Bangladesh refugee camp on Saturday, an official said, with many of the Muslim minority fearing for their safety if they return home. Some 740,000 Rohingya fled a 2017 crackdown by Myanmar's military and are living in squalid conditions in camps in Bangladesh's southeastern border district of Cox's Bazar. The two countries signed a repatriation deal in November 2017 but so far virtually no Rohingya have volunteered to go back to Myanmar, where the group has faced decades of repression. The Myanmar team, led by permanent foreign secretary U Myint Thu, arrived in Cox's Bazar on Saturday amid tightened security in the camps. Click here to read...

CHINA
Progress made in Chinese enterprises' purchase of U.S. agricultural products: Xinhuanet
July 29, 2019

Millions of tonnes of American soybeans have been shipped out to China, the latest progress in the purchase of U.S. agricultural products by Chinese enterprises after a June meeting of the two heads of state in Osaka, official sources said Sunday. Meanwhile, the U.S. administration has announced the exemption of additional tariffs imposed on 110 items of Chinese industrial products and expressed its willingness to prompt the U.S. businesses to continue providing supplies for related Chinese enterprises. Click here to read...

Beijing to respond to social unrest in Hong Kong after more violent clashes following protest rally: South China Moring Post
July 29, 2019

China’s top Hong Kong policy office will on Monday respond for the first time to escalating civil unrest that has beset the city’s government since June. The announcement came as anti-government protesters clashed with riot police outside the central government’s liaison office in Hong Kong for a second consecutive weekend. Click here to read...

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