VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: June 24, 2019
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PAKISTAN
Defence services secured biggest supplementary grant: Dawn
June 24, 2019

The defence services secured the biggest supplementary grant of more than Rs36 billion during the outgoing fiscal year before seeking about 4.7 per cent higher allocations for next fiscal year. The Ministry of Finance has reported to the parliament that the government exceeded by Rs222bn its sanctioned expenditure limit without parliamentary approval. Therefore, it sought Rs106bn regular supplementary grant from the parliament as fait accompli. The remaining Rs116bn amount pertained to surrender from one grant to another or foreign grants and would be treated as technical supplementary grants. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN
Pakistan Key To Bringing Peace In Afghanistan: Hekmatyar: Tolo News
June 24, 2019

Hezb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar has praised Pakistan's role in the ongoing peace process for his country and has said that “Pakistan could play a key role in bringing peace in Afghanistan and now they are doing it.” "Pakistan is a very important country and Islamabad could play a key role in bringing peace in Afghanistan and now they are doing it," Hekmatyar said as quoted by Anadolu News Agency. "I praise Pakistan's sincere efforts and I am sure they will continue its help to bring peace in our country," he said. The Americans are also praising Pakistan's role in bringing Taliban on the negotiating table, he added. Click here to read...

Myanmar Orders Internet Shutdown in Conflict-Torn Rakhine State: Telco Operator: The Irrawaddy
June 23, 2019

Myanmar authorities ordered telecoms companies to shut down internet services in conflict-torn western Myanmar, a leading operator said on Saturday, amid heightening tensions in the region, where government troops are fighting ethnic rebels. Telenor Group said the Ministry of Transport and Communications directed all telecoms companies to “temporarily” suspend internet services in nine townships in Rakhine and neighbouring Chin states, citing “disturbances of peace and use of internet activities to coordinate illegal activities”. At a press conference on Saturday, a military spokesman said the army had no information about the shutdown. Click here to read...

SRI LANKA
Sirisena calls for repealing law clipping presidential powers: The Hindu
June 24, 2019

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, who will complete his term by end of this year, has called for repealing a law that clips presidential powers, citing it as reason for “political uncertainty” in the country. The 19 Amendment, which was passed in April 2015, is widely-considered a historic legislation, shifting power from the executive to the legislature, and strengthening the independence of oversight bodies. Click here to read...

CHINA
China's agriculture vice minister elected new head of UN food agency FAO: People's Daily
June 24, 2019

Chinese vice minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Qu Dongyu was elected as new head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) here on Sunday. He is the first Chinese official to be chosen as the head of the FAO, in the over 70-year-long history of the UN food agency. Click here to read...

Xinhua Headlines: China, DPRK agree to jointly create bright future of bilateral friendship: Xinhuanet
June 22, 2019

When Chinese top leader Xi Jinping on Thursday arrived in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), hundreds of thousands of people lined up along the roads and streets, waving flags and flowers and chanting "Long Live the China-DPRK Friendship" and other slogans to show their welcome. Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK, welcomed Xi, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Chinese president, at the airport and accompanied the Chinese guest for various activities during the two-day visit. Click here to read...

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