VIF Neighbourhood News Digest - 11 Jan 2018
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PAKISTAN

Trump administration’s attempt at humiliating Pakistan unlikely to work: ex-US envoy Olson: Dawn

11 Jan 2018

The Trump administration's attempt at “humiliating and penalising” Pakistan for allegedly failing to take decisive action against militant groups hostile to the US is unlikely to work, former American ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson has argued, warning that Islamabad has greater leverage over Washington than is usually perceived. “Pakistan, like most countries, reacts very badly to public attempts to force its hand. It is likely to respond by showing how it can truly undercut our position in Afghanistan,” wrote Olson, who also served as the US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, in an op-ed published in the The New York Times on Tuesday. Click here to read...

Diplomats in Islamabad briefed on Pakistan's counter-terrorism efforts: Dawn

10 Jan 2018

Amid increasing criticism and suspension of security aid for Pakistan by the United States, the foreign diplomats stationed in Islamabad were briefed on Pakistan’s achievements and challenges in its counter-terrorism efforts by the top civil-military leadership on Wednesday, the Foreign Office said in a statement. Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, Chief of General Staff (CGS) Bilal Akbar, director general military operations (DGMO), director general military intelligence (DGMI) and the foreign secretary briefed the ambassadors and heads of missions of different nations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN

Outrage Grows Among MPs Over Ghani’s Remarks: Tolo News

10 Jan 2018

Wolesi Jirga speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi on Wednesday said that lawmakers will no longer consult government institutions to help resolve the issues of their constituents, adding that they will address the issues with the help of the authorities which have been assigned to them in accordance with the constitution. MPs blasted President Ashraf Ghani after he criticized lawmakers for going to ministry’s and government departments and putting pressure on officials to hire their people. MPs said Ghani’s remarks were an insult to the spirit of parliament and the lawmakers. Click here to read...

NEPAL

EPG team told to keep national interest in core: Kathmandu Post

10 Jan 2018

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur has told the Nepali team of the Eminent Persons Group on Nepal, India Relations to keep the national interest in core when they meet with the Indian side this week for discussions on the bilateral matters. The four-member Nepali team met PM Deuba at Baluwatar on Tuesday morning and apprised him about the progress made in the previous meetings. The team, led by its coordinator and former foreign minister Bhekh Bahadur Thapa, is leaving for New Delhi on Wednesday for the sixth meeting taking place on Thursday and Friday. Click here to read...

BHUTAN

World Bank suggests ways to boost private employment: Kuensel

10 Jan 2018

While productivity of Bhutanese workers increased significantly between 2009 and 2015, Bhutanese firms are still facing shortage of workers with right skills and experience. According to a joint study conducted by ministry of labour and the World Bank, close to 40 percent of small and medium-sized firms saw lack of skilled workers as a constraint compared with only about 23 percent of large firms. Declining fertility and rising life expectancy could result in doubling the number of older persons nearing retirement age by 2030, according to the National Statistical Bureau (NSB). The fact is Bhutan’s working age population is increasing just as the public sector’s absorption capacity is diminishing. Click here to read...

MYANMAR

Myanmar verification teams await refugees: Myanmar Times

10 Jan 2018

Verification teams with software aids are awaiting for the first batch of refugees that will be repatriated from Bangladesh, the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population Permanent Secretary U Myint Kyaing told The Myanmar Times. “As soon as we receive the filled-up forms, we will check the household list and photos,” he said. “We will accept them after checking their documents.” The names of registered residents of Rakhine have been entered with a code system into the developed digital software, he continued. Click here to read...

MALDIVES

Top diplomat to visit India as Pres Yameen’s special envoy: Haveeru

10 Jan 2018

The Foreign Minister Dr.Mohamed Asim is to visit India as President Abdulla Yameen’s special envoy. Asim’s three-day visit will start on Wednesday. The visit comes amidst rumours of a deteriorated relationship between the Maldives and its closest neighbour. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had said that, Dr. Asim would pay a courtesy call on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit. In addition to this, he will visit India’s Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj to discuss about enhancing the diplomatic relationship between the countries. Click here to read...

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