VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: May 23, 2019
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PAKISTAN

US legislators ask govt to help ease Pakistan crisis: Dawn

May 23, 2019

US lawmakers have urged the Trump administration to help Pakistan overcome the current economic crisis while asking Islamabad to focus its attention on creating more opportunities for its people. At the annual bipartisan Iftar of the Pakistani American Political Action Committee (PAKPAC) on Tuesday evening, the lawmakers also advised the Trump administration not to go to war with Iran as it would destabilise the entire region. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN

Khalilzad Briefs US Lawmakers on Afghan Peace Talks: Tolo

May 23, 2019

An envoy to Afghanistan was met with skepticism Wednesday on Capitol Hill as he briefed lawmakers on peace talks with the Taliban aimed at ending the 17-year war. Lawmakers were tight-lipped as they left the classified meeting with special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, but the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Republican Jim Risch of Idaho, says he believes Khalilzad is making progress. However, he added, “the issue always is how much progress, and can you get to the finish line?” Since Khalilzad was appointed to lead peace talks with the Taliban by the Trump administration in September, his efforts have been largely shrouded in secrecy. It was Khalilzad’s first appearance before Congress since his appointment after months of requests from lawmakers for a briefing. Click here to read...

NEPAL

Oli is weakening key institutions and it’s not good for democracy, observers say: Kathmandu Post

May 23, 2019

In the days leading up to the 2017 elections, the Nepali Congress ran its poll campaigns saying voting the communist forces to power would lead to an authoritarian regime in the country. But the people gave the mandate to the two communist parties—now known as the Nepal Communist Party. KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the leaders of the two communist forces, were vindicated; the Congress became an object of ridicule as it faced the worst ever drubbing in the party’s history. But a little over one year into office, experts and analysts say many of the Oli administration’s moves are not democratic, as they are aimed at weakening public institutions. Click here to read...

CHINA

Xi requires new advances in rise of central China: People's Daily

May 23, 2019

President Xi Jinping has required efforts to enhance the comprehensive strength and competitiveness of the country's central region and to make new advances in the rise of the central region. Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks during his inspection tour of Jiangxi Province from Monday to Wednesday. Click here to read...

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