VIF Neighborhood News Digest: September 23, 2019
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PAKISTAN
PM Imran meets US envoy Khalilzad, Senator Graham in New York: Dawn
September 23, 2019

Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is in New York to attend the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, on Sunday met with the United States special envoy for Afghan peace Zalmay Khalilzad and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, among several other high profile individuals. According to Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Khalilzad shared with the premier "how far his negotiations with the Taliban had gone, the nature of the talks and what expectations he holds in the future". Click here to read....

AFGHANISTAN
President Ghani Defends National Procurement Authority: Tolo
September 23, 2019

Afghan president Ashraf Ghani on Sunday defended the performance and integrity of the National Procurement Authority (NPA) days after the US State Department announced that Washington was withdrawing about $100 million earmarked for an Afghan energy project, and would withhold another $60 million in planned assistance, because of corruption. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo specifically cited the NPA, and its “lack of transparency.” And while Pompeo affirmed US commitment to the energy infrastructure project, his statement made it clear that future funding would not be channeled through the Afghan government. Click here to read....

BANGLADESH
Fakhrul: Country now in disarray quit and releases Khaleda: Dhaka Tribune
September 23, 2019

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has claimed that police and other law enforcement agencies are working according to the directives of Awami League higher-ups in the government. He talked about the matter while participating in a human chain, organized by the Bangladesh National Mahila Parishad, in front of the National Press Club on Sunday. The senior BNP leader said: “Corruption surged in Bangladesh because police and other law enforcement agencies only work according to the instructions given by some powerful and influential people in the government, who only want to serve their personal agendas.” Click here to read....

MYANMAR
Hundreds of Yangon activists join Global Climate Strike: Myanmar Times
September 23, 2019

Hundreds of people marched in downtown Yangon on Sunday as part of the Global Climate Strike to demand that action be taken to address the worsening effects of climate change round the world. At least 200 protesters gathered in front of Bogyoke Market and marched to Sule Pagoda and Maha Bandoola Park across from Yangon City Hall. They carried signs calling for a concerted effort by government and business to deal with the global crisis, and urging the government to put a stop to big infrastructure projects, such as the Myitsone Dam in Kachin State, which could damage the environment. Click here to read....

SRI LANKA
No govt. functions for political advantages: EC: Daily Mirror
September 23, 2019

The Election Commission has given strict instructions to the district secretaries to stop all government functions and programmes that have been organised in a manner that violates the election law and gives political mileage to anyone, informed sources said. According to the information given by the Election Commission last week to the district secretaries, the permission was given till today for holding some government functions that have been already planned. However, the commission has informed them to enforce the election rules strictly from tomorrow. Click here to read....

BHUTAN
Lam Tshering Wangdi and Anim Damcho booked for corrupt practices: Kuensel
September 23, 2019

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has implicated four in the embezzlement of Buddha Dordenma project fund worth more than Nu 320 million (M). An investigation report from the commission stated that Lam Tshering Wangdi who initiated the project and Damcho Choden (Anim Damcho), the project manager had grossly misused the project fund for their personal enrichment, which also partly explains why the project was delayed by years. Click here to read....

NEPAL
Ruling party holds hours-long discussion to build a concrete position on Indo-Pacific Strategy: The Kathmandu Post
September 23, 2019

As the debate over whether Nepal is part of the Indo-Pacific Strategy continues, the ruling Nepal Communist Party has been holding internal consultations to build a position on the Washington-led initiative, just ahead of a joint training with the Communist Party of China. Multiple leaders told the Post that NCP’s foreign affairs department held a closed-door “consultation and brainstorming” session on Thursday among its top leaders and some analysts at the party headquarters in Paris Danda for almost four hours. Click here to read....

CHINA
China issues white paper on human rights progress over 70 years: Xinhuanet
September 23, 2019

China on Sunday published a white paper on its progress in the field of human rights over the past 70 years. The white paper, titled "Seeking Happiness for People: 70 Years of Progress on Human Rights in China," was released by the State Council Information Office. Click here to read....

Anti-government protesters rampage through Hong Kong as police struggle to keep up: South China Morning Post
September 22, 2019

Anti-government protesters went on an escalated rampage across Hong Kong on Sunday, taking over shopping centers where they targeted mainland Chinese-linked businesses and vandalized shop fronts, trashing metro stations, blocking roads, hurling bricks and petrol bombs at police, setting fire to barricades and desecrating China’s national flag. Click here to read....

Advice, criticism can help govt 'see solutions': People's Daily
September 23, 2019

Being open to advice and criticism from the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the top political advisory body can help the central government make the right decisions and ensure the country's development stays on the right track, experts said on Sunday, following a speech by President Xi Jinping on Friday. Click here to read....

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