VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: June 12, 2019
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PAKISTAN
Budget 2019-20: Tax-heavy budget fails to arrest growing fiscal deficit: Dawn
June 12, 2019

Despite a massive Rs1.405 trillion tax plan, the federal budget sees no major change in the overall fiscal deficit during 2019-20, which is set to come in at a record Rs3.15tr or 7.2 per cent of GDP. Presented in the National Assembly by Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar on Tuesday, the PTI government’s first full-year budget proposed a ferocious array of taxes on almost all sectors of the economy, in line with a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout package, with maximum focus on recoveries from income tax and sales tax. Income tax payers will bear a significant brunt of the new revenue effort set to unroll with the arrival of the new fiscal year on July 1. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN
Troop Withdrawal Depends On Enduring Peace: Khalilzad: Tolo News
June 11, 2019

The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, on Tuesday said that the US forces withdrawal from Afghanistan is linked with enduring peace and with the type of situation in the country. Khalilzad arrived in Kabul on Sunday where he will “stay for some time” and “will be consulting widely” as he described in a tweet on June 9. “A peace which creates an environment where there is no need for the US mission here and the assurance that threat will not be staged from Afghanistan against the US, and the Afghans will not want the US to stay here, in that case, the US is ready to leave Afghanistan,” Khalilzad said during a meeting with Afghan politicians in the northern province of Balkh on Tuesday. Click here to read...

NIA Raids 8 Locations in Tamil Nadu Over Suspected Link Between Coimbatore's IS Module, Sri Lanka Easter Attack: News 18
June 12, 2019

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday raided eight locations in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore over a suspected link between an Islamic State (IS) module in Coimbatore and the Sri Lanka Easter attacks, which killed over 250 people. A two-member NIA team headed by an Inspector General had left for Colombo last month to coordinate with the Sri Lankan authorities in the investigation into the attacks. "We have our own FIR against ISIS modules. The visit is not to assist Sri Lanka with their probe but to see if an exchange of information and evidence gathered by us and them can be mutually beneficial," a top NIA official had then said. Click here to read...

CHINA
Full text of Xi's signed article on Kyrgyz media: Xinhuanet
June 12, 2019

A signed article by Chinese President Xi Jinping titled "May China-Kyrgyzstan Friendship Thrive like an Evergreen Tree" was published Tuesday on Kyrgyz media ahead of his state visit to the Central Asian country. Click here to read...

Strikes, class boycotts and ‘picnics’: how ordinary people across Hong Kong are mobilising to take action against extradition bill: South China Morning Post
June 12, 2019

Hundreds of cabin crew and airline employees have set up an encrypted message group to talk about how to take their opposition to the extradition bill forward.

On Tuesday, they launched a petition calling on their unions to organise a strike against the government for pressing ahead with the bill despite the record numbers who voiced their anger against it on Sunday. Click here to read...

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