VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: May 2, 2019
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PAKISTAN
UNSC lists JeM chief as global terrorist: Dawn
May 2, 2019

The Sanctions Committee of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Wednesday designated Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) leader Masood Azhar as a global terrorist after China did not any further object to a fresh move by France, the United Kingdom and the United States to get him listed. A statement issued by the UN from New York headquarters said: “Mohammad Masood Azhar Alvi was listed on 1 May 2019 pursuant to paragraphs 2 and 4 of resolution 2368 (2017) as being associated with Al-Qaida for terrorist activities”. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN
Khalilzad Meets Key Taliban Member In Doha: Tolo News
May 2, 2019

The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has met with the Taliban’s deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Doha, Qatar, the group said in a statement on Wednesday. The two sides exchanged views on a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Afghanistan, the statement said. In this meeting, Baradar clarified that there is a need to finalize the two important agendas of the previous meeting which include the "complete" withdrawal of all foreign forces from Afghanistan and the assurance that Afghanistan’s soil will not be used against others, the statement added. The statement says that it will be difficult to make progress on other issues before reaching a conclusion on the two topics. Click here to read...

NEPAL
A broken Congress under pressure to perform as effective opposition: Kathmandu Post
May 2, 2019

A day before the start of the budget session of Parliament earlier this week, the opposition Nepali Congress discussed in its Parliamentary Party meeting how the KP Sharma Oli administration had made a series of decisions without any consultations. Lawmakers also objected to the government’s intentions to present policies and programmes without pre-budget deliberations in Parliament. But amid Congress’ criticism of the Oli government, critics say the party has largely failed to play the role of an effective opposition and that the onus to hold the executive to account lies with it. Senior Nepali Congress leader Ram Sharan Mahat, a four-time former finance minister, admits that the party has been ineffective in the House. Click here to read...

CHINA
As US-China deal nears, Beijing relaxes rules for foreign banks and insurers, in concession to Washington: South China Morning Post
May 2, 2019

China announced a dozen new measures on Wednesday to further open up its US$44 trillion financial sector to foreign banks and insurers in a clear move to comply with any deal with the United States to end the trade war. Click here to read...

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