VIF Neighborhood News Digest: October 9, 2019
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PAKISTAN
PPP, PML-N to thrash out role in March today: Dawn
October 9, 2019

As opposition parties at a Rahbar committee meeting on Tuesday discussed strategies for their participation in the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam’s (JUI-F) anti-government march on Islamabad, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan People’s Party decided to convene meetings of their senior leaders to finalize modalities. Hours after the opposition’s Rahbar committee meeting, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari called a meeting of the party’s core committee in Karachi, whereas PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif directed senior party leaders to gather at his Lahore residence to discuss the options for participation in the long march. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN
“Al Qaeda Leader” Killed in Helmand: NDS: Tolo
October 9, 2019

The National Directorate of Security issued a statement confirming the death of Asim Omar, a “Pakistani national and member of Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent,” killed in an operation by Afghan forces in the Musa Qala district of Helmand province. According to the NDS, Omar was killed along with six other “Al Qaeda members,” “most of them Pakistani” who had been embedded inside a “Taliban compound” in Musa Qala. Meanwhile, Laurel Miller, Director of the Crisis Group’s Asia Program, has said that the Taliban’s commitment to severing ties with the terrorist groups needs verification. Click here to read...

BANGLADESH
The silver jubilee of Chaka and 35th anniversary of Agami celebrated: Dhaka Tribune
October 9, 2019

Chaka is a testament of good and evil coexisting in god-fearing village dwellers. Director Morshedul Islam’s Chaka and Agami are considered two of the important films in the Bangla cinema industry. To celebrate the silver jubilee of Chaka and the 35th anniversary of Agami, an event was held at the National Art Gallery Auditorium of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA). The program was jointly organized by Chalachitram Film Society and BSA on October 5. Filmmakers Morshedul Islam, Syed Salauddin Jaki, Children’s Film Society Bangladesh General Secretary Munira Morshed Munni, cinematographer Maksudul Bari and others were present on the occasion. Click here to read...

MYANMAR
Six AA suspects face trial in Mandalay court: Myanmar Times
October 9, 2019

Three suspected Arakan Army (AA) members and three suspected supporters of the ethnic armed group were charged in court on Tuesday with violating the country’s terrorism law for possession of bomb-making materials and high-tech communications equipment. The Mandalay District Court allowed the trial against the suspects to continue. They were caught with the illegal items during a raid in Chan Mya Tharsi Township last month. “Arrest warrants have been issued for three other suspects who are wanted in connection with the case,” said court information officer Daw Marlar Htut. Click here to read...

SRI LANKA
People have decided whom to vote: Cardinal: Daily Mirror
October 9, 2019

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said today the people had already decided to whom they would vote at the upcoming presidential election and those defeated should allow the person elected to rule the country. He said this at a Sunday school ceremony held at the Asokarama Temple in Kalutara South. “The people know how to use their votes. Mere shouting and running down their rivals others will not attract voters,” the Cardinal said and recalled a reply given by former president D.B. Wijethunga when he was asked whether he would contest again. Click here to read...

BHUTAN
Startup and CSI flagship program rolls out: Kuensel
October 9, 2019

With the startup and cottage and small industries (CSI) flagship program officially rolling out, more than 500 jobs are expected to create in the current fiscal year. Twenty-five new CSIs will also be opened by the end of the current fiscal year. Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering signed the annual performance agreement (APA) for the startup and CSI flagship program with the Economic Affairs Minister Loknath Sharma yesterday. The CSI was identified as one the flagship program in view of its greater socioeconomic roles—driving innovation and investment, diversifying economic base, creating employment opportunities, curbing rural-urban migration, reducing poverty, and potential to contribute towards economic self-reliance. Click here to read...

NEPAL
Police arrest Krishna Bahadur Mahara over rape allegations: The Kathmandu Post
October 9, 2019

Police on Sunday took Krishna Bahadur Mahara into custody to investigate rape charges he is facing, in what is the first such high profile arrest in relation to sexual assault allegations. The arrest was made on the basis of a complaint filed by the accuser; an employee at the Parliament Secretariat, at the Baneshwor police post on Friday, five days after an online portal broke the story about rape allegations against Mahara, who has since resigned from the post of the House Speaker. Even though the complaint was filed on Friday evening, police had not been able to start the process to take Mahara into custody because the court was closed on Saturday. Click here to read...

CHINA
China firmly opposes U.S. inclusion of 28 Chinese entities in "Entity List": MOC spokesperson: Xinhuanet
October 9, 2019

The Ministry of Commerce (MOC) on Tuesday said China firmly opposes the United States adding 28 Chinese entities to its "Entity List" and urges the U.S. side to remove them from the list as soon as possible. The Chinese side has noticed that the U.S. Department of Commerce has added 28 Chinese entities to its "Entity List," and will continue to follow the developments, a spokesperson with the MOC said. Click here to read...

China-Pakistan ties on strong footing, Li says: China Daily
October 9, 2019

Premier Li Keqiang reaffirmed China's staunch support for Pakistan in its efforts to safeguard national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and legitimate interests in a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan on Tuesday. Click here to read...

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