VIF Neighborhood News Digest: October 22, 2019
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Imran accuses past rulers of patronizing graft: Dawn
October 22, 2019

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday blamed corruption by the past rulers for economic woes of the country and assured leaders and legislators of his Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and coalition partners Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan and Grand Democratic Alliance that his government would extend support to resolve the issues of Karachi and other parts of Sindh. The prime minister spent a busy few hours in Karachi, where he held back-to-back meetings with the leaders of his party and allies, including those of the GDA that had defeated the Pakistan People’s Party in the recent Larkana by-poll, but avoided to see Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah even in official meetings related to development projects in Karachi while blaming “corruption” as the key reason that had deprived the people of the basic facilities of life. Click here to read...

US Mission Has Not Changed in Afghanistan: Esper: Tolo
October 22, 2019

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Monday that counterterrorism operations are critical for peace in Afghanistan and to ensure that the country is no longer a safe haven for terrorists. “Counterterrorism operations remain critical to our efforts to achieving peace and ensuring terrorist organizations cannot find safe haven in Afghanistan,” said Esper in a joint press briefing with acting Interior Minister Andarabi, Minister of Defense Assadullah Khalid, and Gen. Scott Miller, the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Esper hailed the contribution of the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces (ANDSF) in providing security for the recent presidential elections in Afghanistan and said that the ANDSF is playing a key role to protect the Afghan people from the senseless violence of the Taliban and terrorist groups. Click here to read...

EU concerned about state of human rights in Bangladesh: Dhaka Tribune
October 22, 2019

The European Union has expressed concerns on the situation of human rights in Bangladesh, particularly about reports of “extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances.” During the ninth meeting of the joint commission of Bangladesh and the EU in Dhaka on Monday, the latter also reiterated its concerns on certain provisions in the Digital Security Act requested for ensuring freedom of expression. In response, the Bangladesh side reiterated its “zero tolerance” policy to violations of laws and human rights by the law enforcement agencies, and the government’s commitment and continued efforts to ensure accountability, that included capacity building of the law enforcement agencies, a joint press release on the meeting said. Click here to read...

Abe reassures State Counsellor of support: Myanmar Times
October 22, 2019

Japan on Monday reaffirmed support for both public and private sectors of Myanmar as well as its commitment to providing maximum support for the country’s efforts to improve the situation in strife-torn Rakhine State. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assured visiting State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi of his government’s support as Myanmar transitions to democracy. “Japan will continue to provide maximum support by bringing together both its public and private sectors.” Abe told Daw Aung San Suu Kyi during Monday’s meeting in Tokyo, where the de-facto Myanmar leader will attend the enthronement of new Japanese Emperor Naruhito. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Abe meet for 15 minutes to discuss various initiatives on investment promotion, employment creation and the development of the Thilawa Special Economic Zone in Yangon. Click here to read...

President pondering pardon for Royal Park murder convict: Daily Mirror
October 22, 2019

President Maithripala Sirisena said his attention has been drawn towards a request made by Royal Park murder convict Shramantha Jude Anthony Jayamaha's party seeking a presidential pardon. The President expressed these views while addressing the 3rd summit of the National Youth Model UN held in Colombo on Sunday. While highlighting the importance of the youth practicing tolerance and patience, President Sirisena said tolerance was an essential quality in the youth when undertaking responsibilities and fulfilling duties. Click here to read...

Prime Minister Oli will seek to reiterate Nepal’s commitment to non-alignment in Baku: The Kathmandu Post
October 22, 2019

When Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli addresses the 18th Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement on October 26 in Baku, he will once again attempt to assuage the international community that Nepal is committed to the principles of non-alignment, at a time when there is much speculation about Nepal’s foreign policy tilting towards certain powers. Oli will be addressing the general debate of the summit, which is taking place on October 25 and 26 in the Azerbaijani capital, on the theme of “Upholding the Bandung Principles to ensure concerted and adequate response to the challenges of the contemporary world”. Click here to read...

Their Majesties visit Japan: Kuenselonline
October 22, 2019

His Majesty the King, Her Majesty the Gyaltsuen, and His Royal Highness the Gyalsey departed for Japan yesterday. Their Majesties will attend the Enthronement Ceremony of His Majesty Emperor Naruhito which will take place tomorrow. Emperor Naruhito acceded to the Chrysanthemum Throne of Japan on May 1, 2019, upon the abdication of His Majesty Emperor Emeritus Akihito. Bhutan and Japan share close ties of friendship, with diplomatic relations established in 1986. Emperor Naruhito visited Bhutan as a Prince in 1987, and His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo attended the Enthronement Ceremony of Emperor Akihito in 1990. Click here to read...

Commentary: The future is bright for China, Pacific island countries: Xinhuanet
October 22, 2019

"Friendship is a furrow in the sand," the island idiom could best describe the friendship between China and the Pacific island countries. As the third China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum opens Monday here, the capital city of the South Pacific island nation of Samoa, it could bring the countries closer through deeper cooperation. Click here to read...

Donald Trump says US-China trade talks going well because Beijing ‘has to make a deal’: South China Morning Post
October 22, 2019

US President Donald Trump said on Monday that efforts to end the trade war with China were going well as the world’s two largest economies continued to battle over trade and politics despite heralding a long-awaited truce this month. Click here to read...

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